March 19, 2018
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Rancho high scorer wants sports to be in her future

  • Camille Spackman, a senior at Rancho Cotate High School and captain of the girl's varsity basketball team, pushes past a member of the Santa Rosa High School team during their game on Feb. 2.The game went into overtime and Rancho pulled off the win with a last second basket, the final score 66-65. Jane Peleti

By: Katherne Minkiewicz
March 2, 2018

At just 17, Rancho Cotate High School’s varsity girls’ basketball highest scorer already knows what she wants to see for her future, more basketball and perhaps a career in kinesiology, a path that she hopes will allow her to continue her passion of sports and basketball.

Camille Spackman has already made a name for herself,  surpassing Reilani Peleti’s record of points scored, 1,113. During this season of play, Spackman racked up a whopping 1,190 points for the Cougars, a feat she said she was surprised of her accomplishment.

“I didn’t even really know I did (become the new highest scorer) until my dad said, ‘hey, did you know you did this?’ because I wasn’t really playing for the points, I was just going out there and playing. I was pretty shocked when they told me that,” Spackman said.

And Spackman is as much a team player as she is a star player and her down to earth personality speaks to a desire to just want to play ball.

“She’s an unselfish player and if she sees the other girls she’ll try to get them the ball… That’s what’s also impressive, she’s had a lot of assists and is responsible for a lot of our team points,” says Mario Newton, her coach of four years. “She loves the sport and gets very enthusiastic with her passion for the game.”

When asked if there is a method to her magic on the court, Spackman, modest in her answers, said that most of her points come from layups and drives to the basket. However, she also credited her teammates the most for her success at the hoop.

“I’m not really an outside shooter. So basically the only reason I have so many points is that my teammates have a really good eye and court vision and they always see me open, so they are the reason why,” Spackman said.

And while many high school seniors, college students and even adults often question what to do with their future (for instance according to Penn State’s division of undergraduate studies up to 20 to 50 percent of freshmen enter college with an “undecided” major), Spackman already has a plan.

The tenacious team player, whom her dad says has loved sports ever since she was a little girl, says she certainly wants to play basketball in college and wants to study kinesiology. Her coach says local colleges and junior colleges have already expressed interest in recruiting her for their team and have come to watch her play.

“People have expressed interest in her, even many of the local colleges, Napa, Contra Costa and the JC (Santa Rosa Junior College) came out to watch her play a couple of games,” Newton said.

Spackman, who has been playing basketball since the 3rd-grade, says she first fell in love with the sport when she started playing with her dad outside their home in their own court and now wants to carry this love with her to college. While she still isn’t quite certain about where she will go in the fall, she does know she wants sports to always be part of her life.

“I want to play in college because I still have a love for the game and I miss it and I want to keep on playing, so that is why I am debating about playing at the JC,” said Spackman, who also mentioned that her success and goals wouldn’t be possible without the support of her family, teammates and coach.

Her father, Jeff Spackman, not only supports Camille’s desire to play college basketball, but also believes her career goal of kinesiology would be a good fit for her.

“She has always talked about being a trainer or something like that for a sports team so that is kind of her long term goal and going through kinesiology would get her in that direction,” Jeff said. He also likes the idea of her continuing the sport in college, as the challenge would keep her on her toes in terms of the game and academics.

And Camille isn’t one to turn down a challenge. During this past winter season, she re-injured her knee and as a consequence, had to miss six games. Newton said he was surprised that she was able to come back to the season, as she had to let the bruised area of her tissues and bone recover. However, recover she did, and she and her team went on to make more history by going to the North Coast Section playoffs, a feat the team had not accomplished since years before Camille was born. The team went to NCS playoffs for the first time in 25 years.  

After a wildly successful season, for both Camille and the team (which made its historic playoff run), she is ready to take on the next challenge and whatever the future may hold, she knows the sun will not soon set on her love for sports, as she is in unequivocally in love with basketball. 

 Her father offered up an anecdote that is the perfect example of her passion and determination in playing the game, “When she was in first or second grade and they used to have a little basketball training league at the rec center that would have casual games and I remember going to watch her play with a lot of older boys and she was kind of dominating them and that’s kind of when I went, wow, she might actually be pretty good at this.”

And boy was he right.