High School Sports

Vance High senior off to blistering start to basketball season, climbing scoring, recruiting charts

In his last two games, Vance High's Cam Hamilton has scored 78 points in a season where he was already averaging more than 20 per game. He's bolted up the N.C. rankings charts, moving from 30 to 9. There may not be a player enjoying a better start to his season. Hamilton, 17, a senior point guard says he has recruiting interest from several schools including Fayetteville State, UNC-Pembroke and Presbyterian. He and coach Brian Frasier posed for portraits on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.
In his last two games, Vance High's Cam Hamilton has scored 78 points in a season where he was already averaging more than 20 per game. He's bolted up the N.C. rankings charts, moving from 30 to 9. There may not be a player enjoying a better start to his season. Hamilton, 17, a senior point guard says he has recruiting interest from several schools including Fayetteville State, UNC-Pembroke and Presbyterian. He and coach Brian Frasier posed for portraits on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

At some point this week, N.C. high school basketball recruiting analyst Justin Byerly is going to release an updated ranking of college prospects for the Class of 2017. He said no player on his list will move as much as Vance High’s Cam Hamilton.

The 5-foot-10 senior point guard is going from No. 30 to No. 9.

“Nobody has had the start to the season that Cam Hamilton has,” said Byerly, a primary scout for Prep Hoops North Carolina. “(Good) games against good competition and a strong summer propelled Hamilton through the rankings from 30th to ninth.”

In two games last week, Hamilton crystallized Byerly’s comments.

In a victory over Winston-Salem Glenn Wednesday, Hamilton had 39 points, eight rebounds and seven steals. On Saturday, Vance beat Lexington 91-62 despite trailing at halftime. Hamilton scored eight points in the first half, battling foul trouble.

He finished with 39 points, six rebounds and four steals.

“The first game,” Hamilton said, “I knew I was hot. I knew I was getting up in numbers. The second game, I had eight at halftime and we were down. In the second half, we just turned it up. We won by (29). I don’t know what to tell you. I was just like, ‘I’m not coming down here (to Winston-Salem for a tournament) and trying to lose.”

Hamilton, who turns 18 in June, said he carries a 3.7 GPA. He said he has college offers from Fayetteville State, Presbyterian and UNC-Pembroke. He said he’s getting interest from Army, Belmont Abbey, Charleston Southern and Lenoir-Rhyne. But he’s not ready to commit just yet.

“I’m going to wait until I’m in love with a school,” said Hamilton, who played for the Charlotte Nets travel team last summer. “I don’t have a time period. I’m just looking forward to finding the best place for me.”

Vance coach Brian Frasier said with second-leading scorer Marcus Neal out with a shoulder injury, the Cougars have needed Hamilton to score more. Vance (4-1) entered the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll this week and plays at No. 7 Independence Friday.

“Cam has filled a big void for us,” Frasier said. “But he’s active defensively and creating a lot of steals for himself, which creates a lot of offense as well. He’s just been doing a lot these past few games. And I’m happy for him. He’s a legit, smart kid from a great family. He’s all-around ready to go” to college.

Before that, though, Hamilton wants to help his team make a big run at a state title. Vance hasn’t been to the finals since 2007.

“I’m just trying to win, man,” Hamilton said. “I don’t care what my numbers are. I am trying to have a winning season my last go-round and make the best out of it.”

Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr

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