This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Missouri edition.
It’s no secret that kids say the darndest things. So when children dream of being the next great musician or winning more NBA championships than Michael Jordan, most parents temper these visions with a loving dose of reality.
Kim Biedscheid (pronounced beed-shide) tried this approach with her son, Cameron, but the 4-year-old wasn’t having it. So with the conviction of an evangelist and the confidence of a grizzled veteran, Cameron let his future be known.
“No joke, he told us, ‘I’m going to Notre Dame, I’m going to play in the NBA and I’m going to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal,’” Kim recalls with a laugh. “To hear it said so confidently in the voice of somebody so young, you kind of just say, ‘OK, do what you do.’”
Some 14 years later, here’s what Cameron has done:
Notre Dame? Check. Biedscheid committed to the Fighting Irish last year in the wake of a breakout sophomore campaign at Cardinal Ritter.
NBA? The senior isn’t eligible yet, but he’s on the right track, averaging 29.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals last season as a junior to earn the No. 62 ranking in the ESPNU 100.
And the Olympics? Biedscheid prepared himself for international success this summer, dropping 14.3 points per game to snag All-Tournament honors at the Nike Global Challenge in Oregon.
Yet for as much as Biedscheid’s childhood pledge is already taking form, the versatile swingman’s memory of how it went down is fuzzy at best.
“Honestly, I had completely forgotten that I said that when I was a kid,” Biedscheid says. “But I do know I’ve always liked Notre Dame and basketball was in me from the start, so I guess that makes sense.”
In some ways, basketball does flow in Biedscheid’s blood, thanks to his father. After starring on the Illinois high school circuit, Dan Biedscheid played hoops at SIU-Edwardsville from 1986-90. His skills didn’t diminish when his college career ended, as Dan and his deft shooting ability regularly took part in pickup games at the local YMCA after work.
Before long, a knee-high Cameron began tagging along, sometimes shooting around on a side basket but more often intently watching his dad hold his own on the court.
“You know how you like to copy your dad as a kid, but he never really pushed basketball on me,” Biedscheid says. “I didn’t start playing organized ball until fourth or fifth grade.”
Buoyed by a gym-rat mentality and an evolving love for the game, Biedscheid showed signs of potential as a freshman on the Cardinal Ritter JV squad. It wasn’t until the next season, though, that his meteoric rise began.
Before then, Biedscheid passed as a 5-foot-9 point guard with quickness and a nice shot. And when God blessed him with a few more inches to reach 6-1 by freshman year’s end, Biedscheid figured he was done growing.
“Then he went back for his physical before his sophomore year and he was 6-5,” Kim says. “Even the doctor couldn’t believe it.”
Neither could Cardinal Ritter coach Marvin Neals.
“When I watched him as a freshman, I didn’t think he would mature as fast,” Neals says. “But when he hit that growth spurt and his skill level improved, he earned a spot in a starting lineup with all seniors. He was part of a three-headed monster that year.”
Along with guards Eric Clark and Mylin Jordan, Biedscheid held his own, dropping 30 points in the second game of his varsity career and draining seven 3-pointers in a win against Brentwood. It all added up to 19 straight victories and a Class 3 state championship for the Lions.
Of course, there are two sides to being the youngest star on a senior-laden squad. Nothing beats a state title, but when the celebration stopped, the onus of leading the Lions back to glory fell solely on Biedscheid.
After another growth spurt, the now 6-foot-7 Biedscheid welcomed this tall order, meshing the perimeter skills from his younger days with a newly minted post game to create a nearly unstoppable force.
“One thing that really impresses me about Cameron is how his game has evolved, because before he was primarily a shooter,” Dan says of his son, who hit 42 percent of his 3’s last year. “He’s really worked on penetrating, handling the ball, passing and just becoming an all-around good player. And with his basketball IQ and poise, it’s like he’s able to slow down the game and take control.”
Never was that more evident than last year’s District 5 championship against Maplewood-Richmond Heights. With the Lions down six points late in the fourth quarter, Biedscheid had seen enough. Shaking off constant double-teams and traps, he sent the game into overtime before scoring 10 of his game-high 31 points in the extra period.
In the end, the Lions copped another district title and the next great Missouri hoops star had been born.
“He’s just got natural talent and clutch ability, and in the tail end of my career, I’m glad to have a player of his caliber,” Neals says. “You don’t get outstanding players every day and Cameron’s one of the best I’ve coached in 30 years.”
As lofty as those words are, Biedscheid made it clear long ago that he dreams big. That’s why he stayed extra busy this past summer, training with Pure Sweat Basketball’s Drew Hanlen alongside former Chaminade star and current Florida freshman Brad Beal. Biedscheid also attended several prestigious events, like the NBPA Top 100 Camp for rising seniors.
“Nobody’s perfect. No one makes every shot or gets every rebound, so I’m never really satisfied,” he says. “Another state championship would be nice. Overall, though, my goal is just to be as complete of a player as possible.”
For some, that’s a cliché. But when Biedscheid sets a goal, expect that dream to become a reality.
Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.