Five Things to Know: CAMERON REDDISH
The last taste of international competition for Cam Reddish (Westtown School/Norristown, Pa.) was a bronze medal, which the USA won at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup after falling to Canada in the semifinals this past summer in Cairo, Egypt.
On Friday, April 13, Reddish again will suit up for USA Basketball, this time in the 21st annual Nike Hoop Summit.
There will be some similarities to the U19 competition, however, namely in Canadian guard R.J. Barrett, who not only will play for the World Select Team before he heads to Duke University along with Reddish next fall, but who also led Canada with 38 points in that U19 semifinal win over the United States.
Hear from Reddish on his international experience and the Nike Hoop Summit.
Experience as a Teacher
Reddish not only is one of the few players on the U.S. roster with an international gold medal, he has competed at a total of six USA Basketball training camps, dating back to the 2014 USA Men’s Junior National Team October Minicamp.
“All of my USA Basketball experience has meant a lot,” Reddish said. “I know what to expect now. I know what it takes to be on that level as a USA Basketball player. It is nothing but a complete blessing, honestly.
“The Nike Hoop Summit definitely was a goal of mine. I went to school with Mo Bamba, who played last year, and he talked a lot about it. He talked about how good it was. It is a complete honor.
“I know R.J. is on the World Team, my future teammate. So that should be good to go head-to-head, a little battle there. I look forward to playing against him and competing. But, I’m ready. I’ve been working out, and I look forward to it."
While he admitted the USA fell short of its gold medal goal in Egypt this past summer, the experience still was a positive one for him.
“Overall it was great,” Reddish remembered. “We got to go to a completely different country, a different continent at that. I got to play with phenomenal players. I got to play for coach Cal (Calipari), see what he was like. See his style, which was a lot of fun. And then, we got to play against the best player from around the world. Obviously, we didn’t achieve our goal, but overall it was a phenomenal experience.”
Reddish wrapped up his prep career at Westtown School by averaging 26.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. While Reddish said he enjoyed the year, he missed time during playoffs due to illness.
Not surprisingly, he pointed to winning a Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state title as a sophomore and junior as highlights of his high school career.
“I would say winning states my sophomore and junior year was great. Those guys were my brothers.”
Listed at 6-foot-7, Reddish even ran the point guard at times for the 2017 USA U19 Men’s World Cup Team, but at this point, that type of challenge is old hat for Reddish.
“I don’t see myself as a small forward,” he explained. “I am just tall enough to be a small forward. I’m best when I’m on the ball.”
And what might a fan expect Reddish to do with that ball? Score for one. And for two? Distribute.
“My biggest focus is making plays in general. A lot of people see a lot of scoring, but I feel like I can make plays.”
Fueled by Family
Reddish has been heavily recruited and decorated for years now, and he says that it is his family that keeps him grounded and grinding through extra work outs.
“There is nothing that is going to stop me except me,” Reddish said. “I keep that mentality every day. And, I know my little brother is watching, so that right there, keeps me going.”
It helps that by nature he describes himself as chill.
“Typically, I just relax and hang with friends. I don’t go out much.”
Future Blue Devil
The 2018 Nike Hoop Summit will feature a total of four players who committed to Duke, and Reddish has been seeing a lot of his future teammates lately – at the McDonald’s and Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Games and soon at the Nike Hoop Summit.
It was the coaches, however, who swayed his decision.
“I loved Duke to start,” Reddish said. “I kind of knew from the start that is where I wanted to go, and the coaches made it easy for me. They were straight up. They weren’t praising me or anything like that. It is big for me to improve, so I know if I went there, I have a really good chance of getting better.”
The 2018 Nike Hoop Summit will be played at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available at bit.ly/nikehoopsummit2018.