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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC5 Street Team Before budding Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose came to the NBA, he owned Chicago prep courts during his career at Simeon. Along the way, he befriended St. Joseph product and current Illinois sophomore Demetri McCamey,  who leads the #19 Illini in scoring. McCamey a.k.a. “Cames” is also fifth in the Big Ten in assists at 5.0 apg. In Big Ten games only, McCamey leads the Big Ten in assists (6.0 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (4.0). Earlier this season, Illini Head Coach Bruce Weber gave McCamey a Sports Illustrated article about the work habits and development of Rose, the 2008 #1 overall NBA Draft pick. demetri

“It talked about how he matured and some of the things he does before games and I took it to heart. It helped,” McCamey said. Cames mentioned how happy he was to see his friend Rose and how hard he wants to work being a “student of the game” to try and reach the league just like the Bulls’ point guard.

“That’s what all the great ones do, that’s how you get better- what Derrick said in the interview. The coaches gave him cards of what defense they play. They’re doing it in the pros and you gotta do it in college {in order} to get to the pros, so you just gotta keep working,” McCamey said.

Cames still has a LONG way to go to reach the NBA “Rose” garden: his shot selection is sometimes suspect, his work ethic needs improvement and his defense can often be non-existent. However, he’s also the Illini player with the most athleticism and star potential. bulls_rose_300

“If you study him over the course of time, he has very good games and a tendency not to be real consistent, this goes back way to high school and AAU and that’s where he’s got to mature. He has the big one and then average, average. He needs to be more consistent if we’re going to be a very good team because he can do things that other people can’t do,” Coach Weber said.

If Demetri matures into a consistent player, the Illini could make a deep tournament run in March and Derrick Rose could possibly see another Windy City friend in the NBA.

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the NBC Street Team, the Washington Times and The Sports Bank

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