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Cam Boozer’s versatility and talent sets him apart as a sophomore

By Garrett Cote

Every basketball team has defined roles. There’s a scorer, a playmaker, spot-up shooters, slashers, bigs and hustlers that do the dirty work. A player that can fit each of those roles is almost nonexistent.

Christopher Columbus High School (FL) has exactly that and plenty more in sophomore forward Cameron Boozer.

The term “generational talent” can be thrown around loosely, but Boozer really fits the description.

He moves on the court so graciously. His strides are almost equivalent to that of a gazelle. Listed at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds, he’s long, deceptively strong and has the skills of a guard.

“I’m a big guy, so it’s tough to finish over me,” Boozer said. “It’s just using my size and my length to my advantage.”

Boozer’s favorite player is Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers – a striking parallel to the style of play that he exhibits.

“He can do it all,” he said of Davis. “He can rebound, he can pass, he can shoot it, he finishes well. He’s just a guy who has been really dominant for a couple of years. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best players in the league.”

Just like Anthony Davis, Boozer did it all on Saturday night at the 2023 Spalding Hoophall Classic. Boozer tallied 33 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals in a 74-67 victory over San Ysidro High School (CA). And when the best player of a team is diving on the floor for loose balls, hustling back on defense to contest shots and providing the bulk of the scoring - just as Boozer was - it’s easy for the rest of the team to follow.

His skillset was on full display at Springfield College.

“He wants to work and he wants to improve,” Christopher Columbus head coach Andrew Moran said of Boozer. “To have your best player, your leader on the floor, want you to challenge him, and then he meets the challenge, it’s great.”

Boozer is listed as the No. 1 player in ESPN’s Class of 2025 rankings, and is widely regarded as the best player in the country regardless of age. The best part of his game isn’t his long-range shooting ability or his footwork in the mid post. What makes Boozer so special is his coachability – even as a superstar.

“He demands us to coach him, he doesn’t want you to just let him do his thing. He wants the help,” Moran said. “He wants you to challenge him and hold him accountable.”

The coaching staff of Christopher Columbus holds pre-draft workouts and works with NBA players in the off-season. Because of that, Moran and company are aware of the determination and consistency required to train someone with the desires of making it to the NBA – which is exactly where Boozer plans to end up.

“Lucky for me and my staff, we work with those NBA guys over the summer,” Moran said. “That’s prepared us to challenge (Boozer) and help him prepare for the level he wants to get to.”

Cameron’s father is, of course, an NBA player himself, Carlos Boozer – who made a living doing the dirty work on some very successful teams. Having a father that’s experienced playing basketball at the highest level has been beneficial for Cameron, and he’s taken Carlos’ advice and ran with it.

“Just to take my time, and focus on me,” Cameron said. “To not really compare myself to others. A lot of the time the media can try to compare you to other people, and that can get in your head sometimes. So I just try to focus on myself and become the best player I can be.”

Carlos doesn’t intervene, either. He lets Cameron embark on the journey to stardom independently while also being right there beside him when needed.

“I just want a person who’s going to be by my side, not somebody who’s going to control my whole life,” Boozer said of his father. “He’s been good in that part.”

Along for the ride with Cameron is his twin brother, Cayden – the conductor on the basketball court. Cayden finished Saturday night’s contest with 14 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and two steals while cashing in all four of his free throw attempts.

The pressures of following in the footsteps of a father who played 13 seasons in the NBA is no joke. Everywhere they go, they’re constantly reminded of how successful Dad was. The fact that Cameron and Cayden have each other makes their journey smoother.

“Having a brother there by your side, doing everything with you, kind of makes it easier,” Cameron said. “You’re not doing anything alone, and you got someone to be with you and fight with you. I enjoy having a brother on the court with me. I love it.”

The trajectory Cameron Boozer is on is only headed upward, and he proved that at the Hoophall Classic Saturday night. With a seasoned veteran in his corner who knows what it takes to play in the NBA and a brother beside him to relieve some stress, coupled with the physical tools he already has, there’s no telling what Cameron Boozer can accomplish in the game of basketball.

Photo: Nico Fiscella/The Springfield Student

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