Freshman Cameron emerges as Wesley hoop star

Brian Cameron

DOVER — Brian Cameron never thought his basketball career was over.

Still, being away from the game for a year wasn’t easy for the former Delaware Military Academy standout.

Sure, Cameron still worked out and played in pick-up games. But that wasn’t the same as being part of a team.

“That year off was tough,” said Cameron, now a freshman guard on the Wesley College men’s basketball team. “A team is like a second family. You just go out there and play the game you love with your family.”

Back on the court again, Cameron is happy to be there — and the Wolverines are happy to have him.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder has evolved into one of the top scorers for a Wesley squad trying to battle its way into the Capital Athletic Conference tournament.

Wolverine coach Dean Burrows goes so far as to say that he thinks Cameron is the top newcomer in the league.

Wesley freshman Brian Cameron, left, shown in action at Lewis & Clark, has evolved into one of the team’s top scorers. (Lewis & Clark sports information)

“If he doesn’t win Rookie of the Year, we shouldn’t have the award,” said Burrows. “That’s just my opinion.”

Cameron has scored more than 20 points in three straight games and seven times in the last 11 contests. It’s the kind of production Burrows pictured when he first recruited the youngster out of DMA.

But Cameron didn’t end up at Wesley the first time around. He took classes at DelTech and worked on his game for a year instead.

“I think his bast basketball is ahead of him,” said Burrows. “What he did at DMA. … it was the closest thing I’ve seen in high school recently to being a one-man show. But he’s such a humble kid and an unselfish kid. Our guys, from day one one, have taken a liking to him — and vice versa. It’s a good fit.”

“I knew I was definitely going to get back to playing,” said Cameron, a native of Newark. “It was a little tough playing all my life and then taking that year off. But I just really stayed with it and worked on my game.”

Not that Cameron jumped right back into the game without clearing some hurdles.

His introduction to the college game, in Wesley’s preseason scrimmage with Division I Maryland Eastern-Shore, was an eye-opening experience.

“That wasn’t a good game for me,” said Cameron. “Getting thrown back into an actual game after a year off … I wasn’t even finding my shots, honestly. I guess I was getting frustrated. I was getting too flustered.

“The game’s a lot faster and, obviously, there’s bigger people than high school. But I was just going to continue to work hard.”

Cameron didn’t play in the Wolverines’ season opener and then netted just two points against Elizabethtown. Since then, though, he’s finished in double figures in 17 of Wesley’s last 19 games.

Cameron is now fifth in the CAC in scoring at 15.8 points per game while leading the league in three-point shooting percent at 48.8 percent (40-for-82). He’d averaged over 22 points per game as a senior at DMA.

“Confidence is a big part of it,” said Cameron. “My teammates are really finding me open on the wing, looking to get me good shots. I’m just capitalizing.”

Cameron’s emergence comes at a good time for Wesley.

The top six finishers in the CAC make the conference tournament. The Wolverines (7-7 CAC, 9-12 overall) are tied for fourth place in the league going into a showdown with third-place York (8-6, 13-8) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Dover.

Burrows thinks Wesley is capable of making a run if it makes the tourney. Either way, however, he thinks the future is bright.

The Wolverines have only one senior on the roster in Jordan Johnson.

“We love the pieces that we brought in that corresponded with the returners that we had,” said Burrows. “You hear the word ‘rebuilding’ and I’m not a big fan of that word. … You’re always looking to get better and take that next step and get us back to where we were just a few years ago.”

From where Cameron sits right now, the future looks pretty bright, too. He knows the Wolverines just have to keep working at it.

“We’ve got a lot of potential, definitely, with all the freshmen he brought in,” said Cameron. “It’s only going up from here. As soon as we get the chemistry down and things start clicking, I think we’ll definitely be a dangerous team.”

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