Eric Burtin found himself seeking that next life-changing moment during the craziness that was the year 2020.
That led the former Iowa Central men's basketball standout to partner with his sister and form Red Hazel, a rapidly-growing whiskey brand.
For Burtin, it was the perfect opportunity that came at the perfect time.
"2020 was definitely an eye-opener on just how quickly life can change," he said. "So along with working full-time, I partnered with my sister to start a liquor brand. We are just trying to make the best of this COVID situation."
The signature whiskey for Red Hazel is Rye Whiskey, which the website states is for "whiskey drinkers who enjoy a mellow, sophisticated talent with a hint of spice."
During his time at Iowa Central, the Kansas City native earned several honors while helping the Tritons to a 21-9 record.
For Burtin, the decision to attend Iowa Central was an easy one to make. And one that left him with lasting memories.
"First, it was just four hours from Kansas City," he said. "And once I took a tour of the campus, it just felt right.
"The battles with DMACC and Kirkwood are always fond memories. Battling guys like Naim Benjamin and Al Stewart brought the best out of me. Fighting the winters in Fort Dodge. I am pretty sure I missed a practice or two because I slipped on a patch of ice. And living in the apartment suites on campus. The time spent with the roommates and neighbors are times I will always appreciate."
Burtin was driven by former Triton head coach Dennis Pilcher and then-assistant - and now head coach - Chad Helle, along with other members of the Iowa Central community and someone very close to him
"Coach Pilcher and Coach Helle were big influences," Burtin said. "They pushed me every day to be a better leader.
"But the unsung heroes were my grandfather and the academic advisors at Iowa Central that helped me to make sure I graduated on time to be able to move on."
Moving forward, Burtin plans to "continue and grow the Red Hazel brand and once things become a little clearer to travel more with the family. And enjoy the time I have."
-By Dana Becker