All About NC State Player DJ Burns Jr.’s Parents, Dwight Sr. and Takela Burns

The basketball player has had the support of his parents during March Madness

<p>D.J. Burns/Instagram</p>

D.J. Burns/Instagram

DJ Burns Jr. is heating things up during March Madness and no one is more proud than his parents.

Born on Oct. 13, 2000, the NC State Wolfpack basketball player is the son of Dwight Sr. and Takela Burns.

Burns Jr. grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina alongside his parents and younger sister Nadia before enrolling at the University of Tennessee in the summer of 2018.

After redshirting his freshman season, he transferred to Winthrop, where he played on the men’s basketball team from 2019–2022.

Following his junior year, Burns made the move to NC State and has been leading the team to many victories this season, including winning the 2024 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament and going to the Final Four during March Madness.


Here’s everything to know about Burns’ parents.

They have two children together

Burns is Dwight Sr. and Takela’s oldest child, born in October 2000; they also have a daughter named Nadia. Like her older brother, Nadia is also a basketball player. After playing the sport in high school, she currently plays for Newberry College’s women’s basketball team, where she is a freshman, per the school’s website.

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They raised DJ in South Carolina

<p>Greg Fiume/Getty </p>

Greg Fiume/Getty

Burns grew up in Rock Hill, S.C. where he attended Clover Intermediate School, before enrolling at York Preparatory Academy for high school, earning MVP honors of the C. Dan Joyner Poinsettia Classic and the USA National Prep Championship his junior year.

In 2018, he committed to playing basketball for the University of Tennessee over offers from South Carolina and Virginia. However, after a few transfers, he found his way to NC State for his senior year.

They both attended South Carolina State University

Though Burns turned down an offer to attend South Carolina State, his parents both went there. According to his LinkedIn account, Burns’ father got his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections.

Meanwhile, Burns’ mother earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from South Carolina State University. She later got her master’s degree in human resource development with a dual degree in HR management from Webster University, along with her education specialist degree in leadership and supervision from Cambridge College, per her bio on her school’s website.

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His father works for South Carolina Probation, Parole and Pardon Services

According to Herald Online, Dwight Sr. works for South Carolina Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. He currently works as a Specialized Program Administrator, but has been with the department for over two decades, per his LinkedIn.

His mother is an assistant principal

Burns’ mother, Takela, has an extensive background in education. After serving as an elementary teacher in North Carolina and South Carolina for nine years, she became a middle school teacher. She is currently the assistant principal at Dutchman Creek Middle School in South Carolina.

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He takes after his mother musically

In addition to being a star basketball player, Burns has a background in music. According to a previous interview with local news station WBTV, Burns grew up playing multiple instruments, “like his mom.”

Speaking with the TV station, Takela noted that he still uses that rhythm on the court. “He plays to a beat,” his mother explained. “And it’s very hard to stop his rhythm.”

They’re super proud of their ‘big guy’

<p>Lance King/Getty</p>

Lance King/Getty

It’s clear that Burns’ parents are his biggest supporters as they cheer him on during games and have been singing his praises in recent interviews during March Madness. While speaking with WBTV, Dwight Sr. talked about the following his son has gotten in recent months, saying with a smile, “It makes my hair stand up on my skin.”

Takela recalled how fans have come up to them during games and told them, “They love [their] big guy,” to which she has replied, “Me too!”

“It feels really good as parents to know that all of the things that he’s put into trying to be the best he could be in basketball is paying off for him,” she said, adding, “He shows up when it’s time to show up.”

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