All four of Dan and Lisa Burkman’s daughters have experienced what it’s like to play basketball for their father.
There are, however, differences.
Katie, the youngest, is the only one who has played at Indian Creek High School in the eight seasons Dan has been the Braves’ head coach.
Beginning Tuesday, they attempt to help lead the program to its fourth sectional title in seven seasons at the Class 3A site at Indianapolis Northwest. The Braves (10-12) play the second first-round contest against Indianapolis Washington, which has won one game this season.
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A 5-foot-11 sophomore swing player averaging 12.2 points a game, Katie Burkman is the team’s most feared perimeter shooter, having buried 52 3-pointers this season. She sets the tone for the Braves in rebounds (6.7), blocks (1.8) and free-throw accuracy (.780).
In the third grade, when her father was named Indian Creek’s coach, Katie grew up knowing she wanted to someday play for the Braves.
The experience to this point has produced more pluses than minuses.
“On the court, he’s my coach, and off the court he’s my dad, so we’re sure to separate them,” Katie said. “On the court I have to call him coach Burkman. Off the court we don’t talk about basketball all that much.
“I do like playing for him. I think he treats all the players the same and does a good job of viewing me as a player rather than his kid out on the court.”
Dan Burkman coached his two oldest daughters, Ashley and Morgan, from third through eighth grade during their respective AAU basketball careers. Next was Erin Burkman, who was coached in AAU by her dad from third grade all the way through high school.
Coach Burkman, the freshman girls coach at Southport High School for four seasons (2005-09), left his alma mater to take over as Indian Creek’s head coach.
His oldest daughters, all one year apart (senior-junior-sophomore), transferred from Southport to Beech Grove. All three then played for the Hornets’ girls basketball program.
Unlike her sisters, Katie’s only experience playing for her dad on the AAU circuit was as a member of the Indiana Outlaws during the summer leading up to the 2015-16 school year.
“AAU was a little more laid-back because high school, that’s like serious business,” she said. “Plus (in AAU) there were a bunch of girls from other schools, too.”
Dan Burkman’s career record at Indian Creek entering postseason play is 128-56 (.696).
Looking back, he’s enjoyed coaching his kids, whether it was at an AAU tournament in another city (or state), or trying to lead Katie and her Braves teammates to victory against one of their Western Indiana Conference rivals.
“We learned a lot as parents with my older three. We didn’t even start Katie in AAU until she was in seventh grade,” Dan said. “She’s probably the most talented. She’s the tallest. She’s probably the best shooter, even though Erin would argue with that.
“I would say coaching is a lot more stressful environment in a school environment. But I do enjoy coaching Katie. She’s a great kid and she’s a good player.”
Name: Katie Burkman
Family: Parents Dan and Lisa; sisters Ashley, 25, Morgan, 24, and Erin, 23
Favorite TV show: “The Flash”
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite athlete: Stephen Curry
Favorite teams: Indiana University men’s and women’s basketball
Class 4A Martinsville Sectional
New Palestine (16-6) vs. Greenwood (4-18), 7 p.m.
Class 3A Indianapolis Northwest Sectional
Beech Grove (15-4) vs. Danville (13-9), 6 p.m.
Indianapolis Washington (1-19) vs. Indian Creek (10-12), 7:30 p.m.
Class A Morristown Sectional
Indianapolis Lutheran (10-10) vs. Indianapolis Arlington (9-10), 6 p.m.
Morristown (12-8) vs. Greenwood Christian Academy (12-9), 7:30 p.m.