Freshman Preview: Cameron Bennerman

The Strutting Wolf checks the progress the Class of 2002 has made in adjusting to NC State, college life and Wolfpack basketball. In part three of a four part series, TSW interviewed Cameron Bennerman's parents about their son's transition to Raleigh.

Cameron Bennerman committed to NC State early in the recruiting process. He gave the nod to the Wolfpack in early August 2001 after considering Clemson, Virginia and Tennessee. Cam told The Insider's Dave Telep that the decision just seemed right; "Everything (the visit to Raleigh) was lovely and it felt right. It was one of those 'why not' decisions. It's good for my family to come and see me play and it's not too far from home."

Bennerman had transferred before his senior year from Grimsley to Hargrave Military Academy. "I had to take a summer class. Ever since I enrolled at Hargrave, we've been hitting the academics real hard" Cam told Dave Telep. The move for a more structured environment and a chance to play with other D-1 players took priority over the normal summer basketball circuit. Rick Bennerman told TSW "Every kid should go through what Cam did at Hargrave. He was able to play with eight division one players. The competition he faced was high." While the gain in experience was valuable, the absence from the AAU schedule seems to of cost Cam in his rankings.

Cam had climbed into the top 50 on some recruiting list. His play included great athleticism, a good shot from downtown and hops that were legendary. Unfortunately (if you count rankings as important), the old adage 'out of site, out of mind' applies when looking at Cam's final high school ranking. His final standing on The Insiders is #99 while Prep Statrs has him at #83.

However, if reports from Raleigh are true, the experts will soon remember what they have recently forgotten. In some preliminary testing, Cam has the highest vertical jump on the team. According to the elder Bennerman, he jumped 42 1/4" while finger touching at 11'8". That is nearly two feet above the rim. "I have seen Cam hit his head on the rim" Rick told TSW. Cam also has been seen doing a "Vince Carter dunk" from the foul line, while passing the ball through his legs. The early scouting reports are that Cam is very athletic with the abilty to take his man to the hoop.

Bennerman is also adjusting to college life. Gloria Bennerman (Cam's mom) told TSW that he has brought home all of his freshman teammates at one time or another this summer. "He is doing good. He is adjusting to the schedule and summer school went well. He seems to click with his teammates. He brought Justin home last weekend. Adam and Dominick came home with him this summer. He rooms with Scooter, Ilian and Dom."

The NC State squad started three-a-days this past weekend and Cam and his teammates are going through the workouts in their effort to improve. "Things are going good. The talent level at State is really strong. The opponents will see that everybody can do different things" said Rick Bennerman, "I was able to see some of the early practices and Collins and Melvin have gotten stronger. They will be tough. Cam is enjoying it."

While Cameron may be adjusting to life in Raleigh, it seems his family and friends may be missing their basketball star and family member. "Come November 2nd, half of Greensboro will be at the ESA. He really worked hard to get to where he is. We are proud of him."


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