After four years at Quest University, Shayna Cameron finishes her final year of eligibility as a guard with the Cascades women’s basketball team. Having just completed her liberal arts and science degree, Cameron is working on her prerequisites for grad school. Cameron talks playing for Quest, her future with basketball, and what she loves about the sport.
How did you start playing basketball?
I didn’t start until I was in grade nine and my good friend pushed me towards it. I shot my first hoop, and I’ve been addicted ever since then just because I love the hard work and the life skills that it can teach you — and the passion about it.
Do you play other sports as well?
I play soccer. Track and field was a big thing, and cross-country; I’m a big runner, and was in high school. I just eventually switched over to basketball one day.
What drew you to basketball?
I think it was the social connection you have with the coach and players. A lot of coaches have been my biggest mentors, and have helped me get to where I am today. I think that’s what really helped me; just having someone there pushing you in every aspect, and being challenged. That’s why I love basketball. It’s so evolving, so dynamic, and there’s always something you can learn. I look for that in sports, and in life in general.
You’ve played for Quest. Have you played for any other university teams?
I came out of high school, and the head coach came to me after a tournament. Something about Quest. I had never heard of it before, and I thought I would check it out. I loved that it was academics, and that I could create history there — it’s such a brand new school in Squamish. I played four years there. I went to two championships there with the PacWest league. I had great teammates.
How do you find playing for the Cascades compared to Quest?
College is a lot different than playing CIS. It’s the same relationship that I’ve gotten to create with the coaches and with the players, but it’s hometown now, and it’s my last year, and it’s been great. The CIS is definitely more physical, more up-tempo, and it’s just better basketball in every aspect. It’s faster, it’s quicker, it’s stronger. The intensity and competition has increased from what I’m used to at Quest. Both of them are great — both of them instill work ethic, and a good perspective on life and being an athlete.
Are you planning to pursue basketball professionally?
If I could play professionally and go play overseas, I might go do that, but coaching is my ultimate passion. I want to be a head coach, either overseas, or for a CIS team in Canada, or possibly down in the States. I just love basketball, and I love being able to change people’s lives for sports. That’s the biggest goal for me. That’s what helped me, and I don’t think I would be where I am today without that support.
What draws you to coaching specifically?
I think it’s just being a mentor and a role model for kids, teenagers, or young adults like myself; just instilling that positive impact in the player that they don’t usually get at home. Teaching someone something for so long, you just see them grow. And it’s cool to see it click, and them get it, and seeing them progress as a person and as an athlete.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.