Oregon State's Joe Burton wraps up special career

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Associated Press

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 12:04 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Joe Burton's sobs betrayed his menacing 295-pound frame and bright red Mohawk.

Big Joe, as he's known, is winding down his basketball career at Oregon State. Last Saturday, he played his final home game at Gill Coliseum. On Thursday night, he'll play in his last Civil War rivalry game against Oregon.

The 6-foot-7 senior center said, "I am going to miss the team and playing basketball with these guys."

By season's end Burton likely will have surpassed 1,000 points in his career. He's already gone over 700 rebounds and 300 assists, and could become the only Beavers player to hit all three marks.

But it's not really statistics that define Big Joe.

Burton grew up on the Soboba Indian Reservation in California. A member of the Luiseno tribe, he is the first Native American scholarship player in the Pac-12 since the league expanded in 1978.

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