From the time she stepped on Northwood Academy's campus as a seventh-grader, anyone who saw Amber Campbell play basketball knew she was going to be something special. Campbell has not disappointed.
All-Time Leading Scorers in South Carolina Basketball History
All-time leading girls high school basketball scorers in South Carolina
Points Name (school) Years
4,319 Ivory Latta (York) 1997-2003
4,238 Nancy Derrick (Wardlaw Acad.) 1994-2000
4,107 Ashley Scott (Northwood Acad.) 1999-2006
3,558 Amber Campbell (Northwood Acad.) 2008-pres.
3,427 Allison Feaster (Chester) 1988-94
3,351 Brionna Dickerson (Heathwood Hall) 1998-2003
3,096 Julie Lawson (Thomas Sumter Acad.) 1977-81
3,064 Direne Thomas (Blackville-Hilda) 1983-87
3,045 Saudia Roundtree (Westside) 1983-88
Entering the final stages of her prep career, Campbell is closing in on 4,000 career points, seeking to become only the fourth player in state history to reach such a milestone. At her current scoring pace of 30.1 points per game, Campbell should eclipse the mark by the end of the regular season or most certainly early in the SCISA class AAA state playoffs. The state's career scoring record is held by York's Ivory Latta, who scored 4,319 points from 1997 to 2003.
Campbell, a 5-8 guard, has experienced it all as a player. Playing with the Georgia Metros out of Atlanta on the summer AAU circuit, Campbell has competed against some of the top talent in America. She was offered scholarships by more schools than she cares to count and eventually chose Wake Forest over South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Campbell has achieved everything she wanted playing basketball, except a state championship. Northwood has been a state title contender for the last several seasons but has come up short.
"I want that really bad before I leave here," said Campbell. "It's really the only thing left to do. I want to finish my high school career the right way. All of the personal things are nice, but winning a state championship would make it complete."
Northwood (18-4) is again one of the favorites to reach the state championship, but it will have to deal with the state's top-ranked team, Heathwood Hall. Heathwood's star player is 6-4 center A'ja Wilson, the No. 1 overall prospect in the country.
Northwood coach Presley Singleton has seen Campbell progress each season.
"She has incredible drive to work on her game and improve in the areas where she might be lacking," said Singleton. "A lot of superstar-type players sometimes don't have that attitude, especially at this level where Amber is clearly the best player on the floor on most nights. She has continued to get better each year."
Campbell has evolved from a point guard that scored most of her points on layups to a shooting guard with solid perimeter skills. This season she is shooting 66 percent from the floor, 73 percent from the line and 43 percent from beyond the arc.
"It takes hard work and dedication, and you have to be focused and committed on being the best you can be," said Campbell. "I love the game of basketball and I love working to be good at it. I know I have a long ways to go, but as long as I continue to work, I can be what I want to be."
And don't expect Campbell to take a night off when Northwood is playing an inferior opponent.
"If you are going to be a good player, you can't just show up and go through the motions sometimes. I have to go hard and work on my game every chance I get," she said.
Amber Campbell has a chance to conclude her brilliant career at Northwood Academy with 4,000 points×
Northwood Academy's Amber Campbell has a chance to score 4,000 points in her brilliant career×
All-Lowcountry girl's basketball player of the year Amber Campbell of Northwood Academy -- studio on Wednesday April 3, 2013. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)×