Cameron Poolton from Mildenhall set to chase his professional dream at Midland University in Nebraska
When Mildenhall’s Cameron Poolton first joined County Upper School’s basketball programme four years ago, playing his favourite sport in a USA college league was a distant dream.
But in little more than two months’ time it will start becoming reality when he arrives at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska as the Bury St Edmunds school’s 42nd US college transfer.
The 19-year-old pointguard is looking to major in business management and digital marketing alongside giving his ultimate life ambition a shot.
“I want to go over there and get my degree but I think it is the best place for my basketball to develop and hopefully fulfil my dream of playing professionally,” he said, ahead of getting confirmation this week that his academic year is set to start on August 27.
Remarkably, he is the second player from the town and former Mildenhall College Academy student to head Stateside in the space of 12 months.
The Journal reported last week on how Bradley Day had enjoyed his first year unexpectedly playing regularly for Iowa-based Des Moines Area Community College.
And Day is someone Poolton has been inspired by.
“Brad is my best friend and was in the year above me at school,” he explained.
“My team went over to the US this year in November and played Brad’s team and I spoke to him a lot and seeing him do it was motivating for me to go over there too.
“I am really looking forward to it. It has been my dream since I started at County.”
Poolton was actually born in America, where his dad was working, but has been living in the UK since he was one year old.
He joined County Upper’s basketball programme when he was only 15 years of age, playing in the U16 National League team in 2016.
The following season, he joined the school’s basketball academy which is where he spent the last three years.
Poolton aided the success of the 2018 academy team that reached the Final Fours that season.
County Upper’s head coach, Darren Johnson, said: “Cameron came to us still new to the game and so a little raw but had a big heart in wanting to learn and develop as both a person and a player.
“He developed quickly within our programme and I am glad to have had the opportunity to help him grow while also opening the door to his goal of playing college basketball.
“Players that know Cameron would definitely say he is dedicated to his development on and off the court, and by the end of his journey at County Upper he had become not only an impact player but a leader and captain.”
Poolton had interest to also consider from the likes of the University of Antelope Valley, Rutgers-Camden, Emory and Henry College and Waynesburg University.
“I chose Midland because I straight away felt at home,” he said.
“The coaches are very supportive and the community seems like a great fit for me.
“The academic programme for business is also very good so that is a plus.
“Overall, after virtual tours and speaking with professors and coaches, I felt this would be the best place for me over the next four years to develop as a player and a person and get a good education.”