And then there were three. Michigan formally announced the addition of Alabama graduate transfer Nimari Burnett this evening. Burnett is the third transfer signed to the Wolverines, joining Tray Jackson and Olivier Nkamhoua, and now all three have been officially announced.
Here’s the full program statement:
David and Meredith Kaplan U-M Basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard announced today (Friday, June 9) the addition of Chicago native and 6-4 guard Nimari Burnett as a graduate transfer for the 2023-24 season. Burnett becomes the third graduate transfer to join the Wolverines following the early addition of 6-9 forward Olivier Nkamhoua (Tennessee) and 6-10 forward Tray Jackson (Seton Hall).
“I have watched and gotten to know Nimari for several years,” said Howard. “He has that ‘feel’ for the game that is just unique. This is why he has continued to excel on both ends of the floor. We also love his length, toughness and passion for the game. Nimari’s work ethic and leadership is off the charts. We can’t wait for him to get here.”
“I’m very excited to become a part of the Michigan program,” said Burnett. “This is a great opportunity for me to learn from someone of Juwan’s caliber as well as from some of the best basketball minds in the country. I have heard so much about the Maize and Blue faithful and I am really looking forward to interacting with them, the Maize Rage and all the students on campus. If all goes well we could all have a special year.”
A Chicago native, Burnett spent his final three prep years at Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) where he was a Class of 2020 consensus top-40 player and five-star recruit. He was selected for the McDonald’s All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic before both all-star games were canceled due to COVID-19.
Beginning his collegiate career at Texas Tech, Burnett played 12 games off the bench before leaving the Raider program in January. He averaged 5.3 points and scored a season-best 12 points — going 7-for-7 on free throws — against Grambling (Dec. 6, 2020), while adding 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
Eventually transferring to Alabama, Burnett missed the entire 2021-22 season after electing to have surgery on his right knee. Making his return in 2022-23, he played in 27 games with nine starts for the Crimson Tide, who went on to record a 31-6 record and win the SEC regular-season and tournament titles. Earning the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament, Alabama fell to eventual national runner-up San Diego State in the Sweet 16.
Highlighted by five double-figure scoring games, Burnett posted a career-best 18 points against Jacksonville State (Nov. 18, 2022). He went on to average 5.6 points per game, adding 2.0 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game.
In addition to his collegiate play, Burnett helped USA Basketball win a historic first-ever gold medal at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup, along with teammates Devin Askew (Cal), Dawson Garcia (UNC/Minnesota) and Ryan Morton (Purdue). He helped the USA to a perfect 7-0 record, scoring 40 points, which ranked second on Team USA and fifth among all competitors. A member of Team Attack, Burnett helped earn a qualifying spot after earning a gold medal (8-0) at the 2019 USA 3×3 U18 National Championship with Askew, Garcia and Morton.
With the additions of Burnett, Nkamhoua and Jackson, U-M has added seven graduate transfers over the last four seasons — guard Mike Smith (Columbia; 2020-21), guard DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina; 2021-22), guard Joey Baker (Duke; 2022-23) and guard Jaelin Llewellyn (Princeton; 2022-23). Former Wolverine guard Jaaron Simmons (Ohio) was U-M’s first ever grad-transfer in 2017-18 and currently serves as the Wolverines’ video analyst.