Roswell’s Taymon Burrola catches an outlet pass from Miguel Baray against Gallup. He penetrates and draws two defenders to him. Without looking, he snaps a pass to the right corner finding his brother, Tarren, who catches, and in one motion, bends his knees and lets go of a three-pointer that hits nothing but net, to give Roswell a 20-point lead and burying a comeback by the Bengals — all but ending their hopes to win the Poe Corn Tournament.
It seems like yesterday that Tarren Burrola walked on to the basketball court as a skinny freshman, under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Britt Cooper. He didn’t start as a freshman, but his coming out moment was when he hit seven three-pointers against Goddard in his first Poe Corn. Ever since then, he’s worked on getting his release quicker so that he could get his shot off against bigger players.
That game gave Tarren the confidence to want more and to work harder. He played enough to be a starter on the state championship team as a sophomore. It gave him the confidence to do work on his game, then he went five-of-seven from three-point land, there was no looking back as he helped give Cooper his final championship. Roswell defeated Capital, 74-53 in 2017.
“One of the things he’s good at,” his coach and dad, Moses “Dude” Burrola said, “he is unconscious in what he does. He has a lot of belief in himself, he shoots the ball. I think he has done two things better than any kid I’ve seen here — that is, he has always had an answer and he has had the best defender every night. The other thing is his confidence, he could hit the side of the backboard and miss four in a row, and then make 10 in a row.”
Tarren Burrola has lived the dream that most kids have only imagined. He has been coached by his dad, Moses “Dude” Burrola, his uncle, Chris, an assistant coach, and played alongside his younger brother, Taymon, for two seasons. Tarren has been All-State two years in a row and the only thing left for him to do is win another Blue Trophy with his dad as a head coach and his brother on the team. With 13 games left in a career that has many opposing coaches thinking he’s been there forever, everything is in reach.
“I’ve been here since I was 4 years old,” Tarren Burrola said. “It is crazy how it is all coming to an end. This is like my home away from home. It is hard, it is bittersweet. There are a lot of great memories, playing for my dad, my brother, my uncle, my teammates. I really can’t single any one moment out. Winning the Blue Trophy, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Many fans think Tarren Burrola was born with a silver basketball spoon in his mouth, but not many fans see the dedication that he has put in it to perfect his jumper and how he has had to work harder because his dad is the coach.
Tarren Burrola wants fans and players to know that he got to where he has because of the work he has put in: jumper by jumper, mile after grueling mile. He has also used the Vertimax to increase his speed, quickness and jumping ability. In getting ready for his senior year, he has had to defend, to penetrate and put the ball on the floor. Tarren Burrola has given up his summers to play travel ball to get better, and on Saturday nights, train while his peers were out partying. Tarren Burrola has put the time in to perfect his game.
“I’ve worked on everything,” Tarren Burrola said. “I’ve worked on rebounding, quickness, getting my shot off quicker, defense and going hard, because this is the last time. I’m trying to do it all. My shooting is something I’ve worked on since I’ve been a freshman, I’ve had to because I’ve played against bigger players.”
In his senior year, Tarren Burrrola is leading the state in three-pointers in 5A and is the school’s all-time leader in three-pointers taken, made and percentage in Roswell history. In his freshman year, he made 60; 90 sophomore year; 80 his junior year; and has over 50 this year with 13 games to play, plus the playoffs. Tarren Burrola could also be the school’s all-time free throw leader as well.
One of the best things about being coached by his dad is the close relationship they share off the court. Both know to leave basketball at the gym and they share other things off the court as well. When they are at home, they’re at home.
Basketball is the family business for the Burrolas. “Dude” was a shooter back in the day when he played, so he can give insight into his son’s shooters mentality, and encourage Tarren to keep shooting. Mom, Denise is the biggest supporter of her children playing basketball. Uncle, Chris has helped him get stronger and with his footwork. He gets to play with his brother and point guard, Taymon, and the best of the Burrolas could be Trey, who according to dad is bigger than the other two when they were the same age.
“When players are on me,” Tarren Burrola said, “and Taymon is going off, it’s just like me scoring. It goes back and forth either way — pick him or me. It’s just an awesome feeling. My mom is our biggest supporter. Always cheering for us and always there.”
Tarren Burrola feels like shooters shoot, make or miss, they just keep shooting; eventually, they will fall.
For Tarren Burrola, there are 13 games left in the regular season and playoffs remaining in his career. He will leave RHS as one of the most decorated basketball players in school history. His countdown begins at 2:30 p.m. today when his team takes on Chaparral at Coyote Den.