Anna Cameron: basketball and beyond

Anna Cameron (R) with Coach Tom Powers during her All-State jersey ceremony.

Anna Cameron (R) with Coach Tom Powers during her All-State jersey ceremony.

Last month at halftime of the College of the Siskiyous women’s playoff win over Delta, former Eagles star Anna Cameron was honored with an All-State jersey ceremony. Cameron was joined by 2012-2013 season teammates Nicolette Neel, Hailey Wales, Leonna Steel and Shyanna Ashworth, as well as head coach Tom Powers.

Her sophomore year at COS, Cameron averaged 21 points per game, 10.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and three steals. In addition to being named all-state, she was selected Northern California Player of the Year, and was the Golden Valley Conference MVP.

Anna Cameron in the process of dropping 34 points on Shasta in 2013.

Anna Cameron in the process of dropping 34 points on Shasta in 2013.

For two years Cameron owned the paint, and still holds the single-game rebound record at Siskiyous with 22.

For me personally, she holds the record for the number of times I thought, “How did she just do that?”

It would be impossible to count how often I was sure Anna was in an impossible situation, and the next thing I knew the ball was dropping through the hoop. After COS, she took her game to the University of Nevada, Reno.

Her senior year at UNR, Cameron played in all 30 games, and started 19. Cameron averaged 5.8 points per game, four rebounds and 1.9 assists. She led the team in free throw accuracy at 78-percent, and was third in field goal percentage (38.8).

While anyone who saw her play at Siskiyous is well aware of her athletic skills, Cameron also excels at another more important part of life. She is ridiculously smart and is dominating in academics every bit as much as she did in basketball.

Anna Cameron playing for the University of Nevada, Reno.

Anna Cameron playing for the University of Nevada, Reno.

After her sophomore year at Siskiyous, Cameron was selected as a member of the 2013 California Community College Athletic Association scholar-athlete honor roll. She graduated from COS with an Associate of Science degree and a 4.0 grade average. At UNR, she majored in Mechanical Engineering and graduated summa cum laude.

Originally from Cambridge, New Zealand, Cameron is currently working on her master’s degree in a combined Biomedical Engineering program with the Universität zu Lübeck and Fachhochschule zu Lübeck in Germany. The program encourages students to do their final year of research abroad. Cameron received a scholarship to study at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and the University of Queensland in Australia.

My first words to Anna when she came off the court after the all-state ceremony were, “So, I hear you’re still super smart.” After a a quick chat about her educational pursuits, and the pros and cons of rugby versus American football (she says she likes watching football better), I checked to make sure I could still reach her through Facebook to ask some questions for this article. Below are those questions and answers.

What were your thoughts and emotions when you were out on the court again for the ceremony?

Just thankful and lucky to be back and be surrounded by my people. Though, honestly, I did forget that I was even very good so it surprised me listening to the commentary.

How did you wind up in Germany of all places in the world?

I wanted to experience Europe, my masters was a good opportunity to do so. Germany happens to have free education for all master’s degrees (perhaps all degrees).

After you earn your master’s, what’s your educational or career goal?

I hope to take a position in research and design of either orthopaedic implants or microfluidic devices. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to go back for my PhD at a later date.

Funny, I don’t think I’ve asked you this before. How did you wind up in Weed playing basketball all the way from New Zealand?

Tom Powers. He knows everyone.

Are you still active in sports on any level? Coaching?

I would say no at this very moment. I really wanted the chance to focus on school. I am also a horrible coach and referee it turns out. However, I’ve managed to find a competitive basketball team that will have me, when I get back to Australia.

Is there anything you learned during your time playing at Siskiyous or at UNR that has helped you in your academic pursuits or everyday life?

It’s cliche but sport has made me who I am [That’s okay Anna. The question was pretty cliché as well]. I would never have been where I am without it. It gave me my support system (even just coming back to Siskiyous). Teamwork, dedication, drive, the list in endless. Tom, personally, was probably one of the biggest reasons I did so well. His calm demeanour and approach to life evened out my tendency to over-think everything.

What is your favorite sports moment?

Honestly, as I get older even the big wins we had are fading in my memory. It’s really the people I remember. Though, I will never forget singing loudly to every song possible during our road trips. We were amazing.

What is your favorite life moment?

There have been so many. An amazing view with friends are a couple of the top. Sitting here writing this, right now, reminiscing, I have traveled through all my “past lives”– Germany, Reno, Weed and Seattle and I have so many people and “family” who would do anything for me. That’s a pretty memorable moment.

Who has inspired you the most, or who is the person you would most like to emulate?

I have never had one. Most people I know have something inspirational about them, something to learn from.

What’s on your bucket list?

Anything and everything. Mainly just to live life fully. Oh, and a dog–a Bernese mountain dog.

If you could tell a teenage girl anything about life, what would it be?

You can do, and be, anything you want to be. People who pass judgment are just voicing their own fears–they do not have to be yours.

Anna Cameron with coach and teammates during All-State jersey ceremony. Pictured left to right: Hailey Wales, Nicolette Neel, Coach Tom Powers, Anna Cameron, Shyanna Ashworth and Leonna Steel.

Anna Cameron with coach and teammates during All-State jersey ceremony. Pictured left to right: Hailey Wales, Nicolette Neel, Coach Tom Powers, Anna Cameron, Shyanna Ashworth and Leonna Steel.

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