Camden finished her Shipley girls’ basketball career Feb. 23 as the program’s all-time scorer with 1,535 points. This season, she averaged 15.3 points per game, as well as 8.0 rpg and 2.0 bpg, as the Gators advanced to the PAISAA championship final and captured the Friends’ Schools League championship. Camden compiled 954 rebounds and 101 treys during her Shipley career, and played a large role in the Gators’ PAISAA state championships in 2018 and 2017. Next fall, she will be playing basketball for Penn State University. Off the court, she is a senior ambassador at Shipley, giving tours to visiting families and hosting Q&A panels at open house events, and is a member of the school’s chess club.
Q: What does it mean to you to be the all-time scorer in Shipley girls’ basketball history? Can you tell us a little about the moment you set the career scoring mark?
A: In my freshman year, it never crossed my mind that I would break the record. It wasn’t until I scored my 1,000th point in my junior year that I realized how capable I was of hitting that mark. I actually didn’t even realize when I was three points away until my coach, Sean Costello, told me. Breaking the record with the help of my team and coaches was for sure a moment I’ll never forget.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience as a Shipley basketball player?
A: During my time at Shipley we’ve won a lot of championships. But my most memorable memory was a PAISAA quarterfinal game my freshman year against the No. 1 seed, Germantown Academy. We were the eighth seed that year, and no one thought we had a chance of winning-except ourselves. We ended up winning that game, and every game following except the championship. It was your typical underdog story. I’ll never forget screaming and jumping around in the visitor locker room with my team after that game.
Q: In what area of your game do you feel you improved the most this season? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: Coming into this season my biggest focus for improvement was not being just a one-dimensional player. Last year I think I struggled with contributing to the game when my shots weren’t falling. This year I made a huge leap mentally by keeping myself engaged in the game regardless of whether or not the ball was going in for me. I found other ways to contribute whether it was defensively, rebounding, or in the paint. I am still working on my rebounding, specifically offensive rebounding, for the next level.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive basketball. Who have been your most important basketball mentors; and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: I’ve played competitive basketball ever since I can remember. I started playing AAU young, playing for some local teams, but ended up playing with the Philly Belles for the majority of my career. I am lucky enough to have had a lot of mentors throughout my career, probably too many to mention. Two that stand out are my trainers, Aaron Johnson and Jonathan Guarente. Both have helped me develop my game in different ways that have shaped me into the player I am today.
Q: What do you plan to major in at Penn State? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: As of right now I plan on majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. Since I was a little girl I have always loved the idea of being in front of the camera, reporting on sports.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: There are two major things I do before every game – hair and prayer. I always brush out my hair and put it into a pony tail braid…call me superstitious but it has to be perfect every time. I also pray before every game.
Q: Who is your favorite basketball player, and why?
A: My favorite player would be Elena Della Donne. I’ve admired her since I was a little girl, and always have tried to model my game after her versatility.
Q: You wore No. 11 for Shipley basketball. Why did you pick this number – does it have any special significance to you?
A: When I was young, I wore No. 1. Somewhere along the way I remember telling myself “1? What about double 1?” I’ve been 11 ever since. I’ll be wearing the same number at Penn State next winter.
Fun facts – Anna Camden
Favorite book: “Any of the Harry Potter Books.”
Favorite TV show: One Tree Hill.
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans or Miracles of Heaven.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Run This Town.
Favorite place to visit: Delaware beaches.
Favorite pre-game meal: “Bagel with cream cheese, peanut butter and apples, and some sort of gummy candy from Wawa.”
Family members: parents Tex and Susan, older sisters Heather and Meg, younger brother John.
(To be selected as the Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)