While staying at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Madison Camden used part of the time to mentor another athlete in her family.
Class was in session for Basketball 101.
Camden, a 5-foot-8 sophomore standout at Glenwood and a Class 4-A second-team all-state selection, has been keeping her skills sharp in the family driveway with a little help from her 11 year-old brother Mason.
“He’s been making me teach him some moves,” Camden said. “He loves it. We’re doing a little 1-on-1, and then he asks me how I do some of my moves so he can practice them a little more.”
It’s a smart move to pick the brain of one of southwest Iowa’s rising stars on the hardwood. Following an impressive freshman year, Camden took a step forward as a sophomore, raising her scoring average by five points to 17.6 points a game, which led the Rams and was tied for second in the Hawkeye Ten Conference.
Those efforts helped Glenwood (25-1) finish the regular season unbeaten and advance to the Class 4-A state semifinals. They also earned Camden the honor of The Daily Nonpareil’s Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Camden’s scoring was as efficient as it was impressive. She shot 55% from the field and 40.2% from 3-point range.
She’s always been a threat with her shot, but Glenwood coach Brian Rasmussen challenged her to be more versatile as a scorer. Instead of settling for an outside shot, drive to the rim and try to finish or get fouled. Camden responded by leading the Rams in free throws (95) and free-throw percentage (77.9%).
“This year it was really about getting to the basket with the intent to score, and if you get to the free throw line, that’s a bonus,” Rasmussen said. “We worked a lot in the offseason on continuing to develop a floater and a scoop shot, other ways to score.”
The Rams’ season ended against a Lewis Central team Glenwood had defeated twice during the regular season. Glenwood’s offense, which led Class 4-A in scoring average (72.3 points per game), was held to just 51 points.
The loss hurt, but Camden and her teammates were quick to turn the page that same night and get back to work.
“Elle (Scarborough), Joslyn (Lewis) and I were in the lobby at the hotel right after the game, and we started watching the game,” Camden said. “We sat out there until 1 in the morning watching it and figuring out what we could have done better so we know what we did wrong.”
The future certainly looks bright for both Camden and the Rams. Glenwood returns 91% of its scoring next season. Goals and expectations will remain high.
“I feel like we have a great team, and the atmosphere of the fans we have throughout the whole season was amazing,” Camden said. “They pushed us a lot harder. Next year, we want to go out there and prove to them that we can be a state championship team.”
Rasmussen thinks his leading scorer will take another step forward.
“I think there’s only better yet to come,” he said. “She will continue to develop, and like I said, she gained a lot more confidence in herself as a player, and when that happened, her teammates became even more confident in her, and I think that was a huge difference for us.”
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