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Local Players Making Their Presence Felt : Pac-10: Isaac Burton is becoming a standout player for Arizona State. Kenya Wilkins has started every game for Oregon.


Two hometown basketball players, Isaac Burton of Arizona State and Kenya Wilkins of Oregon, are making an unexpected impact this season in the Pacific-10 Conference.

Burton of Washington High was the 1993 Most Valuable Player at East Los Angeles College before transferring.

This season, the 6-foot-4 junior has quietly become one of the best players in the conference for the Sun Devils.

He is playing 35 minutes a game and leads Arizona State in scoring with 18.7. His free-throw percentage (82.9%) is first in the Pac-10.

"I didn't expect to play this much, only about 25 minutes a game," Burton said.

Burton had been expected to share playing time with starting point guard Marcell Capers (Manual Arts) and guard Quincy Brewer. But Capers is out for the season and Brewer is out until at least mid-February.

Burton opened the season with a 28-point performance in a 106-95 win over BYU, and that seemed to be a prelude of things to come.

He scored a career-high 29 points against fifth-ranked Arizona on Jan. 5 and 28 points against then-No. 8 Oklahoma State. Both were losses.

He also was sought as a baseball player, a 27th-round selection in 1991 by the Cincinnati Reds. He may play baseball at Arizona State, but only if the Sun Devils do not get in a post-season tournament.

Arizona State plays at USC Thursday and UCLA Saturday.

Equally impressive is former Dorsey High School standout Kenya Wilkins.

Wilkins has started every game for Oregon at point guard, and has averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 assists.

Last month he scored a career-high 23 points against Oregon State in the Far West Classic.

He scored 17 points, including two three-point shots, and made four steals against fifth-ranked UCLA in an 89-73 loss on Jan. 5.

Last year at Dorsey, Wilkins led the Dons to the City 4-A championship game against Crenshaw, the eventual state championship, and lost 92-71.


Quarterback Eric Scott, who graduated from Crenshaw High School in 1993, will transfer from Northwestern at the end of the school year and is considering UCLA.

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