Back row, left to right: Ashton Guthrie, Coach Branch Whitlock; front row, left to right: Benny Guthrie, Cameron Guthrie and Robbie Curry (Nick Griffin for The Tribune)
FAIRVIEW – Fairview High School this week celebrated another former basketball standout’s move to the next level when Cameron Guthrie accepted and signed an athletic scholarship to Martin Methodist College.
Guthrie helped lead the Aggies to an Area Tournament Championship and a Sweet 16 appearance in the Northwest Regional last season and feels like he made some big steps on the floor during his senior season.
“(Branch) Whitlock my (head) coach has pushed me to be more physical and I think that’s where I grew the most this year,” Guthrie said. “He developed my shooting over the summer and throughout the season and that gave me a lot of confidence so that’s also really helped me this year.”
Guthrie continued, touching on some of the skills he’s focusing on improving this summer before his first collegiate season.
“Definitely getting stronger, that way I can be able to get to the rim more and be a bigger offensive threat all around instead of just being a shooter,” Guthrie said. “I’d still like to be able to work on my shooting and get quicker with getting my shots off and I definitely need to work on my defense. My on-ball defense is slow and could use a little work so those are the big things I’m working on right now.”
Guthrie is excited to get started as a college athlete but there a few things he already knows he’s going to miss about his time as an Aggie.
“The family atmosphere. My family being at every game was the biggest thing for me in high school, no matter where it was. But now the games are going to be so much further away that they’ll be able to come to some home games but not all of them and that’ll be one of the biggest things I miss, and playing with Bryson (Fletcher),” Guthrie said. “I love playing with Bryson; he’s such a fun teammate, so those will be the biggest things I miss.”
While he’s going to miss playing at home and playing with friends, Guthrie also has some things he’s already looking forward to when he starts his career as a Redhawk.
“The college atmosphere, the different level of play, how good the athletes are and just seeing what I can do,” Guthrie said. “Pushing myself to see how great of an athlete I can be while also being a great student at the same time.”
Whitlock reflected on the first time he saw Guthrie play and how much his game has grown since then.
“The first moment I ever saw Cameron at tryouts I thought, ‘Man that’s probably my best player.’ He’s incredibly skilled, looks the part in drills and can just flat out shoot the ball. He’s a knockdown shooter, 40 percent shooter, maybe the best in north Alabama, but when we played pick-up ball in the summer, he was pretty easy to guard,” Whitlock said. “Not super tough and didn’t do too many things so I challenged him in the summer to play tougher, to finish at the rim more, to guard better, be a tougher defender, just a more well-rounded basketball player. He’s so athletic that he should be an elite rebounder and really throughout the year I saw him grow in those areas that I had challenged him in. The skill set was already there.”
Even though Whitlock has seen Guthrie become a more well-rounded player, he still believes one of Guthrie’s skills stands out among the rest.
“His ability to shoot the basketball. When I called Martin Methodist about him, I asked what kind of guy there were looking for and they said, ‘We need a guy that can shoot it, somebody that’ll make shots,’ and I told them I had the perfect guy for them. I said, ‘I’ve got the best shot-maker in north Alabama. I’ve got a 40 percent 3-point shooter that can shoot with close-outs and contested shots, hand in your face, it can be a 6-foot, 7-inch defender closing out and he’s going to make the shot.’ He’s not deterred by length, he’s a confident shooter, and that’s what I told Martin Methodist and that’s what they saw on film.”
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