Cameron Lewis Leads Phillips Exeter

Phillips Exeter isn't exactly known for its prowess on the basketball court, although it's not as if the Big Red haven't fared well. However, this year's team has as much - if not more - high-level talent in recent memory.

Cameron Lewis is far from your ordinary basketball player.

He could have gone to virtually any prep school he wanted, but he chose to spend this season at the academically challenging and historic Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.).

It also helped that one of his best friends and former teammates at St. Albans (D.C.), Cameron Dantley, also made the move to Exeter.

Lewis is a 6-8, 220-pound forward who has basically narrowed the field to a pair – Penn and Columbia – unless Georgetown shows significant interest in the next couple of weeks.

``Penn and Columbia are very close, but I'd give Penn the slight edge because that was the school I wanted to go to out of high school," Lewis said.

``I really like those schools because it'll give me a chance to expand my game," Lewis added. "I'll be more of a focal point rather than at some of the bigger schools. I really want my game to get better and I might have to play at a lower level in order to do that."

Lewis scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked five shots in a 76-71 victory against Tilton on Wednesday. Dantley, the son of former NBA standout Adrian Dantley, went for 30 points in the victory.

The 6-2 Dantley, who turned down a football offer out of high school to play at Kent State, is also Exeter's starting quarterback. He has a 3.0 GPA and an 1140 on the SAT, but wanted to spend this season at Exeter to see if any D-1 basketball scholarships would come his way.

``I'm not sure which sport I want to play yet," Dantley said. "It's always been a struggle for me. I've had more opportunities for football, but I came here for basketball and see what kind of looks I get."

Dantley is built similar to his father, just a couple inches shorter. He can knock down the outside shot and also is quick enough to get to the basket – and his best asset may be his ability to finish.

Dantley played primarily the shooting guard spot at St. Albans, so he'll still have to learn how to run the team and create easy opportunities for his teammates – and he'll also have to improve his footspeed in order to keep up with quicker point guards on the defensive end.

Dantley said he's received an offer to play football at Virginia, but he's still waiting.

``My heart is more in basketball," he said. "But I'm a lot better in football. Wherever I go and whatever sport I choose, I want to play. I don't want to sit the bench."

Notes: Lafayette, Ind., native Jon Pierce, a 6-5 post-grad who didn't play this past summer because of a knee injury, scored 23 points for Exeter – including knocking down four trifectas. … While Lewis and Dantley are the most productive players on the team, Exeter sophomore Josh Owens may have the brightest future. The long 6-7 sophomore from Marietta, Ga., is athletic and gave us a glimpse – in limited minutes – of his potential.

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