Ipswich and Great Britain forward Cameron Taylor-Willis has verbally committed to Eckerd College, joining fellow Great Britain International and Ipswich product Maya Price in Florida. The class of 2021 stretch forward has been heavily recruited by a number of D1 and D2 schools and has chosen Eckerd after a long recruitment process, having received numerous offers.
Eckerd finished with a 20-5 record in the shortened 2019/2020. This means Cameron is likely to have the opportunity to compete for conference championships, as part of a top programme, as she continues to add to her already impressive resume.
The 6’1 Forward has represented Great Britain at both U16 (2018) and U18 (2019) level and was likely to play a key role again this past summer for GB again in the U18 age group. Her club career includes multiple trips to final fours and junior national titles as well as establishing herself as a major contributor at senior women’s level, making her debut at just fourteen years old. Cameron captained the Ipswich U16 girls to National Cup success in 2018, and was named MVP of the English Schools U17 National Final in 2019. She has been named to the WEABL All South Conference First Team for the past two seasons, with the 2018 award coming as a Year 11 student.
Cameron is currently in her second year at Ipswich Basketball Academy (IBA) based at Copleston High School & Sixth Form, one of the leading Academies as part of the England Development Programme (EDP). During her time with the Academy so far, she has led the team to the WEABL Semi-Final in 2018/2019 (losing to eventual champions Charnwood College), with the team going one better in 2019/2020 reaching the final against City of London Academy, which was ultimately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with both teams being named Co-Champions. Capping off a hugely successful season; in February Cameron co-captained Ipswich to U18 National Cup success, in a 60-57 victory over Reading Rockets.
In 2019/2020 the sharp-shooting forward averaged 14.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in the WEABL, while also helping Ipswich to the WNBL Division One title with averages of 12.2 point, 8.8 rebounds while finishing seventh in the league in efficiency.
The 17-year-old had this to say about her commitment to Eckerd: “The recruitment process has been really exciting for me, although understandably so different to that of players in previous years due to COVID19. I was unable to visit colleges and meet the coaching staff face to face. However, after talking to my family and the coaching staff I have made the decision to commit to Eckerd College. I feel like it is the right choice for me given the standard of the education and the style of basketball they play. I feel like it’s the perfect balance for me. I’m also excited to be reunited with former teammate, friend and role model Maya Price. My journey has followed a very similar path to Maya, from starting at the same primary school sessions to inheriting her role in the senior women’s team and I am excited to continue this at Eckerd. I am looking forward to working with Coach Honsinger and Coach Feldhaus who I felt like I formed a great connection with throughout this recruitment process. I can't wait to finally meet them in person and get on court with the rest of the team."
Senior Women and Academy Head Coach Nick Drane added: “I am so, so proud of Cameron. Having coached her since she was in our centre of excellence at the age of 11, it is hard to not feel an even stronger sense of pride in watching her grow up on and off the court, and enjoy so much success. Cameron would be an asset to any team, at any level, and Eckerd are getting another absolute gem from the Ipswich programme. In what has been a pretty rubbish year for everyone, Cameron once again displays her knack for bringing a smile to people’s faces at just the right time. She’s a great player, a better person and I can’t wait to see her develop further under the guidance of the great staff at Eckerd” Taylor-Willis added “I’d like to give the biggest thank you to Nick who has pushed me to be a better player and person for the last 7 years. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for all that he has done for me. He took over my development from a young age and has moulded me into the player I am today. I would also like to thank my teammates for pushing me to get better every session and every game and having my back through everything over the last few years and more importantly being friends for life. I’m now looking forward to my last year at Ipswich and hope to leave with a couple of championships to our name! Lastly I would like to thank my family, my mum, dad and sister Eavan, without them none of this would be possible, from taking me to and from Ipswich for every session, cheering me on every game and just being there for me every step of the way. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive family growing up and throughout this whole process. I hope to make them proud on my next adventure.”. Cameron will play her final season with Ipswich in 2020/21, the club and academy that she has been part of since she started playing the sport at just eleven. The seventeen year old will be looking to finish this chapter of her playing career with a flourish, before she moves to Florida.