Willie Cameron (second from left at the basketballscotland’s 75th Anniversary dinner)
Willie Cameron | Shoot for Success
There is no doubt about it, Willie Cameron has devoted his life to basketball, and continues to do so today.
Willie credits his introduction to the game to Sam Dunn. In his own words: “My Basketball journey began in 1964 when coach Sam Dunn brought me as an absolute beginner to the powerful Pearce Institute club in Govan. I was fortunate to develop under the tutelage of Sam and the watchful eyes of the club’s senior international players”
Willie started his playing days with the Pearce institute in1967, before moving onto Penilee (which later became Paisley Basketball Club) in 1969 where he played till 1976. Here, Willie gained national league experience and develop under the watchful eyes of Norrie McCrae and Ron Mather. From here, Willie moved down to London to become the first Scot to join Crystal Palace and experience domestic success and European Cup action. National honours were something that Willie was not short of. A debut versus Iceland in 1969 was the first of 55 caps over the next decade. There were also 25 GB caps including performing at Olympic qualifying tournaments in 1972 and 1976.
When Willie returned to Scotland, he teamed up with James (Mickey) McKechnie to set up what became Glasgow City Basketball Club. Operating from the East End of Glasgow, the club, and the charity they also set up (more about that below), continues to have an impact on the local community today. During the club’s history, Willie has coached his teams to both National and Local titles, has supported the development of players, coaches and officials from grassroots to elite level, and currently serves as the chair of the club.
In previous years, Willie has sent teams to the Special Olympic World Games and to this day, continues to strive to provide an opportunity for those with learning disabilities to get active. In May 2004, Willie set up Shoot for Success, a small charity which, in partnership with Glasgow City Basketball Club, delivers basketball programmes to young people through Schools (both mainstream + ASN), the community, and club programmes. The charity also supports the development of coaches and volunteers.
Through delivering basketball sessions in schools and in the community, Shoot for Success aims to:
- Promote an alternative healthy lifestyle
- Encourage a positive sense of purpose through developing life and social skills, respect for oneself and others
- Reduce isolation and promote integration in young people from vulnerable backgrounds such as disabilities, refugees, asylum seekers, black and minority groups.
- Reduce the temptation of other negative influences by providing positive role models.
Willie has given an incredible amount back to a game that gave him so much, and this was recognised as he became one of the first inductees into the Scottish Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year. Willie also was honoured last night at the Glasgow Sport Awards, as he was won the Service to Sport – Lifetime Achievement award.
Learn more about Shoot for Success here