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May 28, 1971 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-28

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Page Twelve


Friday; May 28, 1971

Publicity doesn 't daunt quiet Campy

CAMPY RUSSELL walked into the girl's
gym at Pontiac Central High School
where a half dozen reporters were wait-
ing to interview him. Someone motioned
to a table where he was to sit, and Campy
turned, his face losing its composure for
just a second and forming an annoyed
You couldn't blame him. Minutes ear-
lier the newly signed Michigan freshman
had to endure being interviewed under
hot lights twice, once for Channel Two
and once for Channel Seven, as over a
hundred less prominent schoolmates
On Channel Two, Campy was inter-
viewed by sports reporter and Wolverine
assistant basketball coach Fred Snowden,
who asked him, "One final question,
Campy. Are you related to Cazzie Rus-
sell?" Campy smiled and said no.
The question was more than just amus-
ing since on Wednesday Snowden's Chan-
nel Two colleague, Van Patrick, had an-
nounced that Campy was Cazzie's young-
er brother. Appealing as it would be, how-
ever, Campy bears no relation to Cazzie,
except in his skill on the hard court.

Rick Cornfeld

Now Russell had left the commotion of
the t.v. interviews but he still had to
endure the questions of reporters, the same
questions he had answered a dozen times
.in the past few days. But except for that
one short scowl, Campy didn't seem to
"You can be the greatest basketball
player in the world," Snowden said, "but
if you don't know how to relate to people
and if you don't have some humility about
you, you'll never be a great person."
But how can a 19 year old boy be hum-
ble when almost 100 schools actively tried
to get him to win them fame and for-
tune, and when people have driven all over
the state to take his picture and hear what
golden words he has to say?
Only Campy know how he did it, but he

has done a pretty good job. He freely ad-
mits that he needs work on his game, for
example. "Really, I think all parts of my
game are still lacking," he said. "They're
all still lacking somewhere, you know,
The biggest thing that's lacking is my
defense. I can play defense, but I have
a tendency to relax and stuff like that.
When I relax, I get beat."
If Campy is going to be a success at
Michigan, he isn't sure of it now. Asked
if he had thought about signing with the
pros before he graduates, he said. "I've
thought about it. I haven't thought about
it too much because you know I might be
good enough then, but then again I might
not. But I think if they approached me
with offers," he added, "I think I would
take it."

Snowden then rushed to his defense, "If
they offered me a half a million dollars,
then I'd have to sign also.
"I think a guy owes it to himself and his
family to sign. But if they don't go half
a million dollars or so, I don't think a kid
is making a wise decision taking less
"There were some boys who were ap-
proached this year who did not get the
big offer. (Henry) Wilmore - he was ap-
proached. (Jim) Brewer was approached.
(Jim) Chones of Marquette. But they
didn't get the big chunks of money. It
wasn't worth giving up their education and
the exposure they're getting now in the
college ranks which will mean money
when they graduate."
For Campy now, the ordeal is ove', but
actually the ordeal has just begun. "We're
very fortunate that he selected the Uni-
versity of Michigan," Snowden said, "and
we're just tickled to have him." Then he
added, "We're gonna work him hard."
Campy didn't even smile.
"Are you tired, Campy?" someone
"No, I'm not tired," he said. "It's all


Russell makes Snowden smile

Special to the Daily
PONTIAC - Basketball coach-
es around the country were left
with broken hearts in the wake of
Campy Russell's decision to come
to Michigan, but Wolverine as-
sistant coach Fred Snowden could
do nothing but smile.
"It's been a great pleasure re-
cruiting Campy," Snowden said.
He didn't add that one of the
pleasures was the success. "Ie's
learned the basics you mnus' have
to be an All American."
Russell, one of the mos, re-
cruited players in the country, is
a 6-8 center forward, who led

Pontiac Central to a 12-2 record
the past two years. He averaged
26 points a game and 21 rebounds
last year. Just as important, he
generally got eight or nine as-
sists, showing that ne Is as self-
less a player as he is skillful.
Since the end of the basketball
season, Russell added to his "l
ready great reputation by par-
ticipating in every major high
school all-star game.
"He's been the most valuable
player in each tournament,"
Snowden said. "He's handled it
quite well. It hasn't swollen his
head or this sort of thing,"
In choosing Michigan, Russell

had to weed through dozens of
offers, but the process wasn't all
that difficult. "First I thought
this way," Russell said. "I picked
the big name schools like Michi-
gan or Minnesota-most of the
schools I wanted to go to were
somewhere in the Big Ten.
"So first I decided I didn't
want to go away from home. I
have this thing about going away
from home. I didn't want to go
too far from home, like say to
California, down South, some-
where like that."
Finally, Russell said, he nar-
rowed it down to Michigan, Mich-
igan State, Minnesota and Long
Beach State.
"You know, like I've said, they
all had the standard thing. Like,
Minnesota, I liked the canspus.
I like the players that would be
playing with me and all like that.
But then I had this thing about
going away from home. But then
again I wanted to go to school in
Minnesota, and so it was kind of
a big hassle for me to decide."
In the end, the decision came
down to Michigan and Michigan
State. "I felt comfortable with
both of them, and everything,"
Baseball, more groovy sports,
Page 11
he said, "but then, you know, I
just felt a little bit more com-
fortable in Ann Arbor, so I de-
cided to go there."
One of the reasons Russell felt
more comfortable with Michigan
was Snowden. "Yes, he had a lot
to do with it," Russell said, "be-
cause you know I respect him a
lot, and I think in four years he
can help me on parts of my
game, you know. He can help
me, of course, in being a better
Russell also liked Michigan's
style of play. "I used to watch
Michigan a long time ago and all
they did was pass theaball, They
had a basic type of offense where
all they did was a slow down of-
fense," Russell said.
"But now in the past year or
so they've begun to run it more
and that's what I like. That's one
of the big reasons I chose it be-
cause I like the running offense
where everybody's out there
pressing and doing it all.
"I've seen (Henry) Wilmore
play and I like the way ha plays.
I think Wilmore could comple-
ment my game and I could com-
plement his. And I've played
against Sam (Brady, a promis-
ing sophomore guard from Pon-
tiac), I play with him just about
every day, and I think he could
complement my game.
"And Ken Brady, I played with
him when I waa a sophomore.
He's about 6-10, he can get the
ball for the fast break, pass the
ball and get everything going."

7hre ZWa/I


Campy Russell:
A matter. of class
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is reprinted from the Daily of
March 20, 1970, after Campy Russell led Pontiac Central to a
75-72svitory over Detroit Kettering in the state basketball quarter-
finals atCrsler Aena.)
CAMPY RUSSELL and his Pontiac Central teammates took the
floor and quietly warmed up.
Moments later the Pioneers of Detroit Kettering emerged,
shouting and hollering from the tunnel, circled the floor once in
a bobbing line, and went into a spirited layup drill.
It was just a matter of class.
Pontiac Central defeated Detroit Kettering 75-72 Wednes-
day night at Crisler Arena to advance into a state semifinal
game against undefeated Garden City West tonight at Jenison
Russell, a 6-7 junior, led Central to its win with 32 points and
16 rebounds and shook up the pressbox quite a bit in the process.
"This Russell is better than Alcindor," bubbled one scribe
to another during half-time. "He can do more things than Lew."
Such superlatives, ridiculous now that the game is over,
seemed appropriate at the time. Campy dominated the game: he
took rebounds away from 6-7 Kettering all-stater Lindsay Hairs-
ton and muscular Floyd Haywood, Spencer's brother; he tossed
in 20-foot jumpers and moved inside for tricky layups. And when
Kettering troubled Central with a tight press, Russell took the
inbounds passes and gracefully brought the ball down the floor.
A nice Frank Merriwell touch to Russell's performance
was set up when he twisted his ankle and was forced to the
lockerroom late in the third quarter with his team ahead by
only one point.
Kettering and Lindsay Hairston, now free of Campy, took
over the lead and held it until the 5:53 mark of the fourth period.
At that point Fate reared its head, in the form of Russell's return
to the game.
Detroit Kettering played tough basketball the rest of the way
but they couldn't handle a Central team fired up by Campy's re-
turn. Kettering closed the gap to 73-72 with about ten second re-
maining, but Central guard Bill Glover added a final storybook
touch by heaving in an 85-foot shot as time ran out.
Now the question is: Can the University of Michigan get
Campy Russell?
"Pontiac will have to build another Astrodome for next year
just to take care of the scouts down to see Campy," remarked
another of the many press box spectators impressed by Russell's
While an obvious exaggeration, this statement has more than
a little verity to it. Scouts were roaming Crisler Arena in packs
before the game; all of them must have been sold on Russell's
performance. This means one hell of a lot of competition for
Michigan recruiters.
Imagine a team consisting of Henry Wilmore, Ken Brady,,
John Lockard, Ernie Johnson and Campy Russell: think of
these glorious trips the Wolverines would take to the NCAA
Crisler Arena is now referred to as "the house that Cazzie
built"; if Michigan can pull off the biggest recruiting coup in its
history, the arena may in the future be known as "the house that
Campy made a home."

Campy Russell
Four stars now inked
The signing of a national letter of intent by Campy Russell
yesterday brings to four the number of top prep basketball stars
signed by Michigan this spring.
Two weeks ago, Michigan announced the signing of three top
prospects, C. J. Kupec, Doug Ashworth and John Kantner.
Kupec was a 6-8 All-America from Oaklawn, Ill., who was
named Most Valuable Player in the Illinois state tournament.
Ashworth, a 6-6 forward from Xenia, Ohio, Beaver Creek,
averaged 21 points a game en route-to All-State honors.
Kantner, an All-State 6-1 guard from Toledo Whitmer, is the
fifth highest scorer in Ohio history,
The Wolverines are still after Kevin Grevey, the Southwest
player of the year in Ohio, and Lindsay Hairston of Detroit Ket-
tering. The Detroit News Wednesday quoted ,Russell as saying
Hairston is leaning toward Michigan.



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