Cam Binder of Auburn High School in Auburn, Nebraska is no stranger to the bright lights on the biggest stage. Binder, a junior, just helped the Bulldogs capture their second state title in as many years. This year though, was in less dramatizing fashion. Last year, Binder hit the game winning three as the buzzer sounded to help claim the championship for his squad, something that he’ll remember forever. This year, a fairly easy ride to the title and something he cherishes every step of the way. Binder averaged 18 PPG, 5 RPG, 5 APG, all while shooting 53% from the field and 48% from 3. Along with being extremely efficient from the field and beyond the arc, Binder is a tenacious defender who is always tasked with guarding the best player every game. We were able to catch up with Binder and talk about his season, OSA, and plans for this spring and summer.
RLH: You guys just won your 2nd straight state championship, but overall how was your season?
My season went very well, I did everything my team needed me to do which involved scoring and distributing to my teammates, I also played very key roles in stopping the best player from the other team. I had loads of fun this year and the game has been good to me.
RLH: You guys went undefeated this year, faced the pressure all year of being a top team in the state, but also had a target on your back for anyone you faced. How did you guys handle that, knowing you’d get your opponents best every game?
And the pressure was immense especially for me. Everyone expected so much of me and I just had to trust my game and play calm. But I’ve been blessed to thrive in pressure and that is what happened this year. a lot more overrated chants this year and i really responded well to those.
RLH: Ahead of your game with Ogallala, a team you faced in February, what was the message heading into that game? Especially after the first game that ended up super close, and then you guys sort of dismantled them in the championship.
The message was to slow them down on offense and attack their chaotic defense. they were completely not leaving me and trying to get in my head and would not give me space whatsoever so i just had to make plays and score when i had the chance. But no doubt my job was to stop their main player and I held him scoreless in the first half.
RLH: What’s it like to play for a coach like Coach Weeks?
At first, scary, because he always wants to keep you on your toes and focused and never lose that focus, however he needs you to be focused. But over time now I’ve changed and I’m the same exact way and if my teammates aren’t as locked in reign they are as well. He has made my mental part of my game invincible.
RLH: Saturday was the first time I was able to watch you, you’ve got some tenacity on the defensive end, is that something you take great pride in?
That is something I take major pride in. my freshman i was one of the worst defenders on my team. this year i can guard anyone on the perimeter without a doubt
RLH: You led the team in scoring at 18 ppg. How did you handle the defenses knowing that you’re the go-to guy on offense?
The defenses were very tough especially when teams practiced for weeks to stop only you. so you had to go into the game with an open mindset, not a selfish one. but i have worked extremely hard on my efficiency and made shots when i was open.
RLH: You’re a top 5 player in the state in your class. What is your case on why you should be #1?
My case for state number one is I put in the most work in than anyone in the state in my class. I’m not the tallest or most athletic but I believe I’m one of the most skilled and I’ve worked since day one until I have nothing left in me.
RLH: If a college coach asked what are the strong parts of your game? What would you say?
If a college coach asked me what my strengths are I would say my skills, shooting ability, creating my shot, passing ability, IQ, and sheer fight and toughness and the grit that I play with.
RLH: What are you doing to improve as a basketball player?
I am really working hard on my athleticism and working on getting quicker and jumping higher and of course improving my ball handling and shooting.
RLH: You play with OSA during the spring and summer, what’s it like playing with a prestigious program like that filled around with talented players?
Playing with OSA is a blessing and what is more important is the respect they treat me with. They really care for me and give me the perfect opportunity to display my game. With the names we have this season I think great things will happen.
RLH: With the spring grassroots events being postponed, what are you going to do as a player to work around this?
I have a gym next door to me which I am blessed to have and I am going to work on all facets of my game and continue to gain athleticism with each day and improve my mental strength and IQ of the game.
RLH: Looking ahead for the summer and next year, what are your goals?
My goals for this summer is to get offers and interests and have a good idea of what schools I will go to. I have interests right now but I want no doubt in a school’s mind to take me and realize how much I will add to their program from the start. and of course to have fun and become a better man.
RLH: Are there any updates on your college recruitment? What schools are contacting you the most? Any offers?
The schools that are contacting me the most are North Dakota State University, Missouri State, Denver University, North Dakota, Penn, Holy Cross and other summit league and east coast schools but no offers yet. Along with D2 schools like Missouri Western, Northern State, Emporia State, NWMSU, and others.
RLH: What’s your timeline for making a decision? Do you have any visits lined up? What’s been their message to you? What are you looking for in a program?
I would like my timeline to be before my season starts so I can solely focus on my high school season and dedicate it to winning a state championship again. I have a visit close with NDSU and they have shown immense respect for me and my family and really appreciate my game. I am looking for a program that wants hard work more than potential. wants the skills right away and the leadership. a school that cares about me and my interests and a school of course that I will succeed in and become a better man.