For Cameron Bett ’17, it has been a case of ‘have shoes, will travel’ during a remarkable year spent checking in at airports and scorers’ tables across the world.
A sophomore at TASIS England this past season, this talented young athlete served as the point guard on the varsity basketball team. An integral member of the squad, he helped the team secure its third silver medal in the last five years at the 2015 ISST Championships in London. By the end of the season, he had amassed 1,188 points in his schoolboy career, becoming the 13th player in TASIS England basketball history to join the 1,000-point club.
Bett twice represented TASIS England in Europe. At the Holiday Tournament in The Hague, he garnered all-tournament honors in December 2014. Three months later, he skilfully guided the team to the finals of the International Youth Tournament in Athens, earning selection to the tournament’s All-Star 5.
An accomplished and dedicated player, he was a model of perseverance and devotion this season. As well as playing for TASIS England and his club team, the Reading Rockets, he worked tirelessly to make the Under 16 national team. Throughout the season, Bett juggled his obligations to his school, club, and country while maintaining his academic good standing. For a sophomore at a rigorous school, it was no mean feat.
Bett’s hard work and dedication ultimately paid dividends as he earned a spot on the England U16 national team. In doing so, Cameron became the third TASIS England basketball player to don his country’s colors. His older brother, Josh ’08, also represented England at the U16 level. Renée Busch ’11 played for Great Britain at the U16, U18, and U20 levels.
National team duty meant even more stamps in his passport. Sporting an England kit, he played in a preparation tournament in Finland in July 2015. Weeks later, he played for his country in the heartland of European basketball, Lithuania, the host country for the FIBA U16 European Championships.
There he acquitted himself admirably against Europe’s best young talent as England competed against the traditional powers of European basketball — Lithuania, Spain, Greece, and Turkey. Bett netted 20 points against Greece and tallied 15 against a talent-laden Turkish team. Averaging 10 points per game across the seven games of the two-week tournament, he was England’s second leading scorer.
For Bett, the end of the European Championships was just the beginning. He flew to London for a one-day stop at home, taking just enough time to pack his bags for the United States, where he will live out his dream of playing his beloved sport in the home of basketball. This academic year, Bett will ply his trade in Tennessee where he will be a boarding student at the McCallie School in Chattanooga.
Along the way, he caught the attention of a fellow traveller while sipping a coffee in an airport café during a layover in Atlanta. “Hey man, I can see you’ve got your shoes on your backpack. Are you a baller?” came the query. “Yes I am,” replied Bett. “I am on my way to play ball at a boarding school in Tennessee.” “You don’t say. Well, I’m a pro basketball player on my way to my club in Ulm, Germany. Good luck in school, kid.”
We are sad to see Bett leave TASIS England, where he spent countless hours in the gym working on his jump shot, improving his ball handling, and competing against ISST foes. On Sunday evenings, he often schooled dads in friendly pick-up games. Without doubt, the soles of his shoes have left their mark on each of the hardwood planks of the TASIS gym floor.
As the TASIS community wishes Cameron Bett the best of luck and continued success in his favorite sport, we are left only to wonder, “Where will his shoes take him next?”