Rising SFA senior is one of 10 collegiate men’s basketball players who will be traveling to the island nation.
July 2, 2016
XENIA, Ohio – At the end of July, Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball rising senior Dallas Cameron will be afforded an opportunity only a select few student-athletes from the United States have been offered when the Pompano Beach, Fla., product heads to New Zealand as one of the 10 members of the Athletes in Action 2016 New Zealand Basketball tour roster.
The ten men who comprise the AIA basketball team come from various NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NAIA institutions from across the country and will be in New Zealand from Sunday, July 24 until Sunday, August 14 to compete against university and club teams from the country as well as against the New Zealand Breakers development team.
Prior to departing for the island nation, Cameron and the other team members will take part in a five-day training camp in Los Angeles. The training will consist of both basketball-related activities and preparing for a cross-cultural experience.
“This experience is one I learned about near the end of May,” said Cameron. “I met one of the individuals associated with AIA and he introduced me to what they were about. From there, I learned about the opportunities they give to immerse yourself in sport and faith.”
In 2015-16, Cameron appeared in all 34 of SFA’s games and helped direct the Lumberjacks to a 28-6 record which included a fourth-straight Southland Conference regular season title, a third-straight Southland Conference Tournament crown and the program’s third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“This is going to be a life-changing event for Dallas because he will come back from it more experienced and more well-rounded as an individual because of the people he’ll be able to touch outside of basketball,” said SFA head coach Kyle Keller. “He’ll be able to take SFA’s notoriety outside of our country’s borders and will only enhance the university and our team because of it.”
“This trip is very important to me because it’s basketball experience and an opportunity to increase my faith,” Cameron said. “I will get the chance to spread the word and travel outside of the United States which is something I’ve never done.”
Along with the AIA team’s playing schedule, it will also direct youth basketball camps and experience the unique culture and landscape of New Zealand.
“To see so many different things, cultures, people and ways of life will give him a lifetime of memories,” Keller said. “Any team I’ve been associated with since I’ve been coaching college basketball that has taken an international trip such as this has had a great season after coming back. This will only catapult Dallas forward into what will be a spectacular senior season.”
Coaching the AIA squad is Kelly Combs, who possesses some 18 years of collegiate coaching experience and is embarking on his third tour to New Zealand this July.
“I am very excited about this group of young men and I think they are all great people as well as basketball players,” said Combs. “I believe this is a great opportunity for these young men to get international playing experience while giving them a chance to grow in their faith. It will be a life-changing experience.”
Athletes in Action is a Christian faith-based organization which has been using athletics as a platform to assist individuals in answering questions of faith since 1966. AIA is present in more than 90 countries around the globe and is a part of Cru (formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ).
“Having the opportunity to go to New Zealand and see what the culture and the different side of life is like while doing things for others is going to be a great experience,” said Cameron. “I’ve been living in the United States for all 21 years of my life, so it’s exciting to get the chance to see something so different than what I’m used to.”
While in New Zealand, the team will have a blog which will be accessible at the link below. To find out more about Athletes in Action, visit the website and keep up with AIA on Twitter and Facebook at the links below.
2016 New Zealand Tour Team
4 | Pierre Zook | 5’10 | 165 | G Biola University | McMinnville, Ore.
5 | Xavier Moon | 6’2 | 170 | G | Morehead State Univ. | Goodwater, Ala.
6 | Chris Collins | 6’2 | 185 | G | Texas A&M | Friendswood, Texas
7 | Dallas Cameron | 6’2 | 185 | G | Stephen F. Austin | Pompano Beach, Fla.
8 | Bryan Michaels | 6’3 | 210 | G | Concordia Univ. | Kalispell, Mont.
9 | Chandler Thomas | 6’6 | 220 | F | Georgia Southwestern | Indianapolis, Ind.
10 | Bouna Ndiaye | 6’6 | 210 | F | Northwest Nazarene Univ. | Bergen, Norway
11 | Evan Bradds | 6’7 | 200 | F | Belmont University | Jamestown, Ohio
12 | Dillon Pollard | 6’7 | 215 | F | University of Mobile | Huntsville, Ala.
13 | Rashawn Thomas | 6’8 | 235 | F | Texas A&M-Corpus Christi | Oklahoma City, Okla.