MORGANTOWN — For many fans in attendance for the Scott Brown Classic on Sunday at University High, it was a chance to catch a glimpse of future WVU players Oscar Tshiebwe and Miles McBride.
For most of the players on the court, it was a chance to cap high school careers with a chance to play in a prestigious all-star game. For two local seniors, however, it took on yet another meaning; it was one more chance to prove to those who may have overlooked them previously just how they can perform around big-time talent.
Morgantown’s Cam Selders and University’s Rodney Bucklew both have hopes of moving on to the collegiate level next year. Unfortunately, neither have found new homes as they come within a month of graduating.
They joined McBride and Tshiebwe on the Employers’ Innovative Network (EIN) team during the Classic and showed what they can contribute to a program with their skills.
“It’s a great feeling to come out here and show what you can do. I’ve been overlooked a lot,” Bucklew said. “It’s nice to be able to come out here and do this.”
Bucklew put forth the best performance of the pair, tallying eight points, five rebounds, one assist and one block in 12 minutes. Bucklew, who started at power forward for the Class AAA state champion Hawks this season, enjoyed the opportunity to see more time on the wing, his “true position.”
“When you play with Kaden Metheny and K.J. McClurg, you get overlooked a lot, because they’re very good players. Coaches are used to seeing me at power forward, and today, I got my chance at shooting guard and small forward. It’s nice to show them that I can shoot, too, and that I’m not just an inside guy that’s undersized,” he said.
Selders added four points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal, throwing down a massive dunk on a fastbreak for his first bucket. Selders led Morgantown to the state tournament as a starting guard and as the leading scorer the last two seasons, but has failed to earn any college offers yet. Well known for his athletic ability, Selders wants his play to show that he’s more than just a vertical jump.
“I hope I showed people that I’ll run around, I’ll fly around and I’m not going to stop,” he said. “I’m not just going to dunk — I’m going to do a little bit of everything, and I’m just out here trying to show it.”
A Selders’ slam special
Selders may have shown off his all-around ability during the game, but also got his chance to wow the crowd with his dunking ability during pregame festivities.
Selders joined Dasilas Jones, Mike Dawson and Tshiebwe in a slam dunk contest before the game tipped off, where he advanced to the finals before finishing second behind the five-star WVU signee.
Selders brought the ball through his legs before rocking the rim on his second dunk of the opening round, bringing some energy to the gym and sealing his place in the finals. Unfortunately for Selders, he wasn’t able to nail his final attempt, going head-to-head with Tshiebwe.
“On my last attempt, I tried to put my arm in the rim and hang, and my arm went in but I slipped out. If I would have gotten that in there, I think I would have won,” Selders said. “The between-the-legs is my go-to. It’s my favorite one to get everyone going, and it’s not too hard of a move.”
Selders developed his trade over the last few seasons at MHS, where he learned the type of energy a big dunk can bring to a team, especially when things aren’t going so well on the court.
“When you get out in the open court and you see no one or even just one person, your thought process has to be that if I dunk this ball, everyone is going to be yelling, you’re going to get so much momentum — so much can happen on one play,” he said. “If you just lay it up or something, people aren’t feeding off that. But if I jump up and dunk on someone, everyone is going to go crazy. That can spurt a 10-0 run real quick.”