Northwood standout Campbell committed to getting even better

Northwood Academy's Amber Campbell is just a sophomore, but she's already receiving a lot of attention from college basketball recruiters.

Tyrone Walker

The score was tied with 12 seconds remaining in overtime against Porter-Gaud, and Northwood Academy girls basketball coach Presley Singleton called a timeout. She diagrammed a play to get the ball to sophomore Amber Campbell, who was having an outstanding game.

"Everyone in the gym knew Amber was going to get the ball," Singleton recalled. "Everyone knew the play was diagrammed for her. We knew it, they knew it, and the crowd knew it. I knew, though, nobody could stop her."

Campbell, with pressure from the defense and yells from the crowd, calmly sank the game-winning basket and with the flick of a wrist. Northwood had the win and Campbell had her 44th and 45th points of the game.

Amber Campbell makes it look so easy because she works so hard.

It's not unusual to find the 5-8 guard alone in the gym at 7 a.m. working to get better. She'll practice by herself, answer the questions, and head to school. After school, it's more practice or a game -- time for Campbell to showcase her immense talent.

"People ask me why I practice," Campbell said. "I tell them I want to get better. I want to be the best player I could possibly be."

Campbell is one of the top sophomores in the Southeast and has statistics that a senior would love to have. She's been a starter for the Chargers since the eighth grade and should have 2,000 points by the end of the season. The stakes are high, so Campbell doesn't stop working.

Even thought graduation day is two years away, schools showing interest include South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

"She hasn't heard from UConn or Tennessee," Singleton said. "I don't know if it because she's only a sophomore and they wait until players are in the junior or senior year. But everyone else is interested. USC calls just about every day. Some of the mid-major schools call and say, 'Our hat's in the ring, just in case.' "

Campbell scored 564 points as an eighth-grader, 802 points as a freshman, and has 321 in 13 games this season to push her career total to 1,687. But Campbell does more than score. In addition to her 26.8 points per game, she averages 8.5 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 2.8 assists.

"It's obvious that she was born with athletic ability that most people can only dream about," Singleton said. "She can touch the rim, has unreal speed, and has that work ethic. She'll practice on her own two mornings a week. I don't know too many kids who do that."

Campbell also plays on the AAU circuit for the Georgia Metros, a team based out of Atlanta.

Campbell says playing with such a high-profile team gives her exposure. The Georgia Metros have produce many big-time players, including Maya Moore of UConn fame.

"But the reason I play is to get better," she said. "I don't worry about points. I worry about getting better and helping my team."

Reach Philip M. Bowman at pbowman@postandcourier.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pandcphil