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Photo by Gabe Palacio

Agility, athleticism, skills and speed.

It’s rare to find an underclass defender who possess all four of those strengths.

But Braden Burke is an exception.

As a result, the rising sophomore at Section 1 (NY) power John Jay was one of the most coveted players at his position this summer.

Earlier this month, he decided on a college destination, verbally committing to Duke, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.

The 6-foot, 170-pound righty, a three-sport standout at John Jay, performed well at several big summer showcases, including the Maverik Showtime National Lacrosse Recruiting Spotlight.

Now, here’s a Q&A with Braden on his commitment:

Recruiting abstract

What were the main factors in your decision?
I wanted a school that combined strong academics with high-end D-I lacrosse.

In addition, the atmosphere, campus, and fantastic coaching staff made Duke University feel like home to me

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I strongly considered and visited Princeton, Yale and Georgetown.

Have you decided what academic major you plan to pursue?

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Athleticism and speed are two of my strongest attributes.

In addition, I take pride in trying to shut down my opponent while also playing good help/team defense.

I strive to get my stick in the passing lane and scoop up every ground ball possible. I like to play a fast pace game, pushing the ball in transition.

bburketweetWhat area of your game do you need to work on?
Everything needs work, but I am focusing on my stick stills and physicality.

How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Living in Westchester, lacrosse has always been a big part of my life and I was introduced to the youth program through my friends and family.

As a kid, I played almost every sport, including football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey, and golf. I also skied and swam. As a freshman at John Jay High School, I played varsity football and varsity basketball in addition to lacrosse.

What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for Prime Time Lacrosse and I participated in the Moonlight Lacrosse Showcase, Adrenaline Black Card, B’more Showcase and Maverik Showtime.

Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
First off, I would like to give a big thanks to my mom, dad, and sister Bailey for their love and support. I would be nowhere without them and they are the best role models anyone could ask for.

Also, I want to give a huge thank you to Coach Nick Daniello, the director of Prime Time, for helping and guiding me through the whole recruiting process.

In addition, I want to thank the coaching staff at John Jay, the coaching staff at Prime Time, and all of my former youth coaches. Furthermore, the time and opportunity all the college coaches gave me is greatly appreciated.

Have a recruiting commitment to report? Send an email to, contact Joe Lombardi directly at or send a Tweet to @Joe_Lombardi or @LaxLessons.

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Recruiting Rundown section

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2015

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2016

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2017

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2018

* Recruiting commitment story archive

* 2014 National Letter of Intent Fall Signing Week story/photo archive

* 2012 National Letter of Intent Fall Signing Week story/photo archive

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Posted In: Hudson Valley, Recruiting Rundown, Section 1

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