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Camic did it all for Serra boys basketball team

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Friday, March 30, 2012

With everything Brandon Camic went through since July 27, 2010 — the transfer, the WPIAL hearing two months later, the PIAA appeal a month after that, sitting out his entire junior year — looking back on it now, he wouldn't change a single thing.

"It was worth it," he said.

The ordeal surrounding his highly publicized transfer from South Allegheny to nearby Serra Catholic a couple of summers ago forced Camic to sit out a season but was a case of short-term misery for the greater good.

That greater good was turned into greatness this past winter for the Eagles as Camic:

• Helped Serra win the section title.

• Played in his first playoff game.

• Won a playoff game.

• Surpassed 1,000 career points.

• Set a single-game Serra record with 51 points.

• Led all of Class A in scoring at 22.5 points per game.

And for that, Camic is the Daily News Boys Basketball Player of the Year

"You have to give Brandon Camic a lot of credit because he could've easily packed it in after what he had to endure," coach Vince Gibbons said. "He didn't do that. He worked hard and had a tremendous year for us."

Camic added 7.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game as he helped Serra to a 16-8 record and a playoff win over Western Beaver.

"He is a mild-mannered kid who matured a great deal with us the last two years," Gibbons said. "After sitting out his junior season, he came back with a vengeance in a lot of games, and it showed by his final statistics."

But it wasn't all easy. During the year he had to sit out, Camic's frustration grew to the point that it was difficult for him to continue to come to practice when he knew he wouldn't be able to play.

Then, when he rejoined the team in the summer, he had to knock off more than a year of rust and learn a new system.

"It was a little difficult at first," he said. "But Coach Gibbons and all my teammates made it easy to get used to playing for Serra."

Gibbons knew Camic was talented but also realized he was raw.

"The thing that I saw grow most out of him was his discovery that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts," Gibbons said. "He wasn't simply a scorer, as was the case when he was younger. He got better at diversifying his game, and his assist-to-turnover ratio improved dramatically."

The scoring was always there for Camic, who finished with 1,346 career points in only 68 games. He went over 1,000 for his career in style against Geibel with a then-career high of 33 points, but that was nothing compared to what he accomplished two weeks later: a Serra record 51 points in an 88-33 win over Elderton.

He scored 42 in the first half, then sat out part of the third quarter and all of the fourth.

"Everything was going well for me on that night," Camic said.

Camic broke on to the scene as a freshman at South Allegheny who averaged 15 points. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 swingman finished in the top 20 in the WPIAL in scoring, averaging 21.6 points and nearly seven rebounds.

"His defense grew by leaps and bounds this year," Gibbons said. "Above all, his ceiling threshold has not been met yet, and his best basketball is ahead of him at the next level."

Camic is undecided where will play in college next year.

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