Cameron Vines is a 21 year old 193cm guard from Columbus, Ohio that recently finished his college career at St.Joseph, IN (NCAA2) and as a senior played 28 games averaging 20.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 74.2%. He started his college basketball career in 2010 with Florida Southern (NCAA2) where he played until 2013 before transferring to St Joseph. German Hoops talked to him about basketball.
Cameron thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
My summer has been great so far just been staying in the gym working out with some of my overseas friends who currently play over in Europe. I mainly have been focusing on improving my shooting and ball handling since I plan to play mainly the point guard position. I also have been learning a lot from my friends who play overseas. They have enlightened me on what to expect when I get there and how important it is to make a big impact every time I step on the court.
You recently finished your senior season at Saint Joseph’s College, IN (NCAA2) where you played 28 games averaging 20.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 74.2%. You had a good statistical season, but for a losing team. How difficult was your senior year on the court?
It was very difficult to have a losing season to finish my senior year. Every player wants to go out their senior year on a good note. However, we had a lot of young players mostly freshman and sophomores who were still learning to excel on the college level. Although, I can say I have learned from my failures, being on a losing team has given me a great desire to win and taught me how to accept failure and always stay positive.
How difficult is it in general playing for a team that doesn´t win much? You were the leading scorer of the team. Did you feel like everything was resting on your shoulders for the team to be successful?
Yes, it is very difficult being a leading scorer on a losing team. For me I never blamed my teammates for us losing I always thought after every game “what could I have done more for us to win” and that can be very stressful. I also had every person on my team look at me for answers and they depended on me to show up every practice and game no matter if I was sick, injured, or in a bad mood so that we could win and I believe that made me a better player.
The team won only 6 games. What positives could you take from the season? Your stats were down from your junior season. Was the necessary personnel missing in your senior year to be more successful?
What I could take positive from the season is learning how to face failure and battle through it. I tried many different tactics in order to get wins and one of those tactics were lower my number of shots in order to get my teammates more involved and that was one of the reasons my numbers went down. In addition, many teams began focusing on me more in their defensive strategy since I had such a good junior season. Furthermore, what was most needed on our team was experience when having a lot of young guys they tend to make a lot of mistakes because they are still learning the game with upper classmen it is a lot less mistakes made and upper classman is what we lacked.
As a junior you had 43 points against Central State and 40 points against Stillman and as a senior 38 points against Missouri State. Which one of these games will always remain in your mind? Possibly the double OT win against Central State?
I most definitely have to say I will never forget the Central Sate game most importantly because we got the win, but also because a lot of my family was present at the game. Although, I do believe the Stillman game was my best overall game because I was able to score 40 without the overtime period.
You started your college basketball career at Florida Southern, but transferred to St.Joseph, Indiana in 2013. When you look back over the last two years, it seemed like the right decision. Did you have a good feeling coming to Indiana that you would be able to develop your game further there?
I initially had no plans to go to St. Joe I transferred there to get closer to home since I just had my son born in my hometown Columbus. Ohio. However, I came with no expectations although after having a great summer I improved dramatically. Also, by having to be the main scorer at St.Joe I was able to develop all aspects of my game instead of being put in a role. This made me develop my game and take my game to another level that many players don’t have the chance to do.
Tom Church was assistant coach at Florida Southern and you followed him to St.Joseph, Indiana. How important was he for your development and how did he prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Church understood I had the potential to go to the next level. So by giving me the green light and playing a fast paced up and down game he helped me to develop a game that could easily transfer to the professional level. We did not run many plays and mostly did isolation and pick and roll situations which is something that will give me a great advantage on the next level.
Now you are looking for a team to start your professional basketball career. How has the experience been so far in early summer?
It has been pretty hectic. It feels like high school all over again trying to choose a college making sure you put yourself in the right situation. However, I have done well so far so I pray God keeps helping me make the right decisions.
How difficult is it having that label coming from a division 2 school? Do you have the feeling that good players don´t get noticed as much?
It is very difficult I feel that many people don’t understand how competitive the division 2 level is. Many of us can compete and are even better than some Division 1 players. Many Division 2 players are over looked by Division 1 schools during high school due to injury or some other situation even though they have the talent to be a d1 player. I feel this happened in my case although I am ready to show on the next level I can compete with any player no matter what university they come from.
Many opponents have told you that you could easily have played at the division one level. How important was it making the experience at the division 2 level? You were captain of the team and a leader something that may not have been your role at a division one school?
Being at a division 2 has helped me develop every aspect of my game. Many division 1 players are put into a role and never get a chance of developing their full game at that level which hurts them when moving to the professional level. However, for me I was able to get a head start and expand my game and forced to improve all my weaknesses in order for my team to win.
What do you know about the country Germany and its basketball? Your friend Elijah Allen played for the Licher Basket Baeren last season. Is Germany a place where you feel you could feel comfortable playing at?
I know that Germany is a great place to play and is a place on the rise in the international basketball world. My good friend Elijah Allen told me that it had some things similar to American culture which makes the transition a little easier.
You can fill up the stat sheet well, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed on the court right away?
My hidden strength is my ability to pass the ball. With me being the main scorer on my team I wasn’t able to fully show my passing ability. Although, I am an unselfish player that can see the floor well and with great players around me I can make everyone on my team a better player.
If you could describe your game in a few sentences as to why you could help any professional team now how would you describe it best?
I have great leadership on the court coming from a team in which I had to be the sole leader and I learned to always stay positive and continuously encourage my teammates. I could also help a team because I have developed all aspects of my game and coming from a team that played a very fast and open game I can transition to being a professional very easily.
How does a workout day look like for you on and off the court in the summer of 2015?
I wake up at 7 am and workout then again at 4pm and play in either a summer league or open gym in the evening so my whole day consist of playing basketball.
Who won a one on one in practice last season you or Jonah Coble?
Me of course. Although Jonah is a great young player with a high ceiling.
Who was the best player that you battled against in college, high school or playgrounds that is in the NBA now? Does Trey Burke ever make an appearance in the off season around Columbus?
I would probably say Trey Burke I got the chance to play against him a lot in high school and we have had our fair share of battles. And yes, Trey makes appearances in Columbus and plays in the summer Pro Am when he is home.
What is the state of the Cleveland Cavaliers now in the summer of 2015? A lost NBA final, Lebron possibly leaving and new draft picks. How do you see the team doing next season?
Being an Ohio native I’m a big fan of LeBron as well as Cleveland and know that LeBron will lead them to the finals again no matter who he is playing with.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Cameron for the chat.