The success of any athlete, especially a college athlete, is a team effort.
Team Carly Cameron was easily identified. Not only did it include the Hillsboro graduate’s Illinois College women’s basketball team, but her parents and immediate family, trainers and other medical professionals. Not to mention the entire town of Hillsboro.
“Perseverance and determination are the main things that come to mind, when I think of college,” said Cameron, who will graduate next month. “I will remember how hard I had to work to just step back out on the basketball court. I spent so many hours in our athletic training room that the athletic trainers became my friends. The hours of sweat and tears I spent with John Mekala at Rehab Edge.”
Cameron, who played all four years on the varsity level, had an ACL Tear as a freshman. But, that severe injury did not stop her from averaging in double figures for her career. In 73 games on the court for the Lady Blues, she scored 728 points and pulled down 466 rebounds, respective averages of 10.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Of her 73 games, 51 were starts. In addition, she had 101 assists, 88 steals and 81 blocked shots.
The 6-foot-0 forward hit over 40 percent of her shots from the field for her career, nailing 260-of-607 from the field, a percentage of 42.8 percent. She also hit 171-of-268 from the free throw line. Of her field goals, 37 were from beyond the arc. The Lady Blues won 43 games during her career, 29 of which were in the Midwest Conference.
Cameron led IC in blocked shots as a freshman, junior and senior. The former Hiltopper player also led the Lady Blues in rebounds and rebounds per game as a freshman and a junior. She averaged in double figures as a freshman and a junior.
“I will never forget beating St. Norbert College during my freshman year,” said Cameron, when talking about her most memorable game. “They had not been beaten in 30 conference games. We also had a chance to travel to Puerto Rico to play. I will miss the experiences with my teammates the most. The long bus rides with my closest friends are things that I will never forget. I will also miss looking into the bleachers and seeing my parents and my Aunt Debby waving at me. The injury was the toughest thing to deal with. After injuring it my freshman year, I tried to come back my sophomore season and ended up having to sit out to recover fully.
In the final year of her career, she helped Illinois College post a 13-12 record, the lone winning record in the past four years. They were also 9-9 in the Midwest Conference, which was the best conference mark of the last four years as well. Cameron, who played in all 25 games and made 10 starts, averaged 23.0 minutes per game. She scored 224 points and pulled down 165 rebounds.
The daughter of Clark and Stacy Cameron of Hillsboro will graduate with a Biology Degree with a concentration in Physiology. In addition, she will have two minors, one in Chemistry and the other in Psychology. In the first seven semesters of school, she finished with a grade point average of 3.5. She was on the IC Deans List four times and was a two time Midwest Conference All-Academic Team Selection. She was also in three honor societies due to her academic prowess. She was named to the Chi Alpha Sigma Student Athlete Honor Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society and Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society. Her education will continue as she attends graduate school for Biological Studies and then heads to dental school after completing graduate school.
“After my injury, I became a different player and a more grateful player,” said Cameron, who scored 1,000 points during her career at Hillsboro. “My freshman year, I took my ability for granted, but after the injury, I realized how special it was to be able to play in college. The injury transformed my game, making me add an outside shot. I was timid and did not want to be hit, while making a move. I finally got over it by my senior year. It made me realize how much work and effort actually goes into the sport.”