Cameron Vines is a 22 year old 193cm guard from Columbus, Ohio playing his first professional season in Germany with Regionaliga team BBCBayreuth. He recently was promoted getting a 5 game contract with Beko BBL team medi Bayreuth. He started his basketball career in 2011 with Florida Southern (NCAA2) where he played until 2013. He then moved to St.Joseph, IN (NCAA2) and as a senior played 16 games averaging 19.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 74.0%. He spoke to German Hoops after making his Beko BBL debut against Euroleague team Brose Baskets Bamberg.
Cameron thanks for talking to German Hoops. It is no secret that every basketball player is mostly confident, but if someone had told a few days after you had signed with BBC Bayreuth last season that you would play in the Beko BBL at the end of the season what would you have thought?
I would have believed it. Coming into my situation I knew that I would have the opportunity to show my skills to the BBL team. I constantly reminded myself to stay confident and believe in myself, and with patience and persistence I knew that my hard work would pay off which it finally did.
You played your first Beko BBL minutes in a big 85-53 massacre at home against top team Brose Baskets Bamberg. What kind of a difference was the atmosphere in the Beko BBL and Regionaliga? Like night and day?
It was definitely like night and day at the Regionaliga games we barely can get 20 people in the audience and then to turn around and play with a stadium full of cheering fans was amazing and something I would like to do more often.
It was a very tough loss in Bayreuth, but Bamberg are a Euroleague team. What separates a team like Bamberg and Bayreuth most on the court?
I would say what makes Bamberg so good is that they have great team chemistry and moved the ball very well they sort of reminded me of the Spurs and how they moved the ball from one side of the floor to the other
What was key in the game against the Brose Baskets Bamberg that medi Bayreuth couldn´t get anything going?
I believe that being the top team in Germany and doing well in Euro League that their confidence was very high coming into the game. And it seemed like everything they shot went in.
You played three minutes on the court in garbage time. Did it feel like you were a kid entering a shark tank or was your self confidence high right when you stepped on the court?
I was confident and ready to get on the court as soon as I was put into the game. I didn’t feel over whelmed by the experience because I know I can compete on the BBL level if given a real chance.
What kind of experience was this for you and how did you hold your own?
It was a great experience not to many players in my position get an opportunity as the one I am receiving and so no matter if it was 3 minutes or 30 seconds I was thankful to God for the opportunity. But I believe I held my own on the court and I didn’t have enough time to show my offensive skills in that short amount of time but I made sure I played good defense while out there.
When you were on the court was the first thing that came to mind to use your strengths or just not to make any silly mistake?
Well with the score being so far apart I wasn’t really worried about making a mistake so I would say my main priority was to use my strengths.
As a senior last season at St.Joseph, In, you averaged 19,0ppg in the NCAA 2. Is their a big difference in quality between what you saw last season in the NCAA 2 and in the Beko BBL?
Yes, the main difference is that now I am playing with all experienced professionals and guys who have some years on me rather than me being at the top of my class in division 2.
You have seen American Jake Odum play all season long who is a very talented player, but now you also saw ex Pittsburgh(NCAA) point guard Brad Wannamaker in action. Alba Berlin head coach Sasa Obradovic said he belongs to the best point guards in Europe. Would you agree with that assessment?
I would agree he is a very strong point guard who can do everything on the court and makes good decisions with the basketball.
What do you appreciate most about the game of Brad Wanamaker and what kind of things does he do on the court that any player could learn from?
I appreciate the fact that he always seems to be relaxed on the court never frustrated and seems as he is always in control of the game which is something every player could learn from.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg continue to make strides in Euroleague action. They pride their game on defense. When you see how that teams operate on defense, do you see yourself being bale to contribute at the Beko BBL level in the years to come as your game develops more?
Yes, I can definitely see myself contributing on the BBL level. I feel that I have all the physical attributes to compete and skill set to be a great player in the BBL. Also practicing and playing with the medi Bayreuth guys has given me confidence that I can play on the BBL level.
You were also on the bench in other games like against ratiopharm Ulm. What kind of things do you watch most closely when you are on the bench?
On the bench I always try to observe how players face adversity on the court, because in a game many things can go wrong and I always like to see how great players handle these situations.
When you heard recently that you would get a 5 game contract what kind of feeling was that for you?
It was feeling of relief. For me it was knowing that all the hard work I put in waking up at 8am for workouts and practicing 2 times a day was all worth it. And it motivated me to keep pushing because hard work actually does pay off.
In the Regionaliga with BBC Bayreuth you played 13 games averaging 19.9ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.8apg. What kind of adjustment was this season for you coming in as a rookie?
The biggest adjustment for me was learning the European style of play but other than that it wasn´t hard.
How important was it being able to practice with the medi Bayreuth team? How did you grow as a player this season?
It has been very beneficial for me. I have been able to see what basketball is like on the highest level. Being able to stick all the great guards we have on the team has made me a better defender, and the guys on the team always giving me advice on how I can do better has helped me dramatically. Playing against very smart guys on the court has made me step my basketball IQ up and allowed me to see the floor better.
What was the most important thing that BBC Bayreuth head coach Darko Mihajlovic let you be able to do on the court that let you grow as a player?
He has let me use my speed on the court and be the general for the team also he pushes me to always go 100%.
With the next minutes that you may get with medi Bayreuth, what is the most important thing that you will be focusing on with your game that will help the team more?
Just be confident when I get on the floor and actually do something productive on the floor.
Some of the older NBA players that played at different times are having a hard time giving Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors credit for their success saying they might not have had that success 20-30 years ago. Are these former players just jealous or why can´t they just give credit where it´s due?
I believe some guys just believe the NBA was tougher then than it is now and that its easier for guys like Steph Curry to do what he does but I believe that the Warriors deserve credit for what they have done because they are a great team.
Recently ESPN made a top 100 greatest NBA players of alltime poll putting Lebron at #3 before legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and BIll Russell. Do you see that as being justified?
Yes, no matter what era you cant deny Lebron is one of the best to play the game. Also he is from Ohio so he will always get my constant support.
Villanova will battle Oklahoma and North Carolina will clash with Syracuse. Who will reach the final and win it all?
Oklahoma my man Buddy has been on fire this year
What was the last movie that you saw?
Creed great movie ! I recommend it
Thanks Cameron for the chat.