ROWLAND — To help make him a college basketball caliber player, South Robeson’s Cameron Werrell said it took dedication to fulfill a lifelong dream.
After posting a breakout year this past season as a senior, Werrell was able to cash in his hard work by signing with Louisburg College on Friday.
Werrell’s dedication to get better was not just skill wise, but physically. The 6-foot-6 athletic big man is the second Mustang to sign to play college basketball since Jarurias Davis last year, and Werrell said that motivation from him helped propel him before his senior season to better himself.
“I always looked up to Jarurias because we had been hooping since we were little. He used to tell me, ‘You’re fat. You can’t do nothing.’ That’s the real reason, too, that I got in shape. He was like, ‘Cameron, if you lose weight, you can be more than what you is.’ So I stuck with that,” Werrell said. “I’m more explosive and lighter on my feet to do more things than I usually could do. I felt more comfortable this year than I had in the past.”
Playing on the blacktop is where Werrell fostered his love for the game at a young age playing against his father, Isaac, who is also tall in stature. That’s where Werrell learned to play among bigger defenders, until he became the biggest player on the floor.
“He used to take me outside to shoot ball and I used to tell him, ‘Daddy, this is what I want to do.’ Ever since then it’s been in my heart so when I go on the court I play with my heart,” Werrell said. “When I was little he used to bully me, blocking my shots. But then I started getting older, getting taller, getting bigger and I got to back him down.”
Werrell earned Robeson County boys basketball Player of the Year honors this season and was a dominant force on the floor for the Mustangs. He averaged a team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds a game, and was the team’s leading 3-point threat, hitting 31 this season.
South Robeson coach Ryan Bullard said that kind of output came when Werrell improved his conditioning to start a domino effect with his game.
“He’s really worked and got in shape, which really opened up the door for a lot of things for him because he had the size and could shoot it,” Bullard said. “He’s a special big guy. He’s got finesse skills and a power side. He’s able to stretch it out when he steps out and shoot and he can take it inside. He’s very versatile.”
Louisburg was one of many junior colleges that started giving attention to Werrell over his senior season. He said the feel of the program was the most comfortable.
“Then they took me on campus and I felt like this is the perfect fit I can call home,” Werrell said. “They are going to bring a dog out of me, more of a dog. They are going to know I’m ready to come out there and play and they are going to make me become who I want to be.”
The Hurricanes finished 15-16 last season, and are two years removed from a 28-6 campaign in 2017-2018 where they won the Region X tournament.
Werrell’s goal after Louisburg is to continue to play basketball at the Division I level.
“I need to get stronger and get in college condition,” Werrell said. “It’s rock and roll then.”
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.