From sinking buckets, to splashing goals, Cam Dougherty is an athlete that can do both. Patrick Codo reports on the double sport athlete in this Player Profile, presented by Edgewood Clinical Services.
From The Court to the Pool
“You know the adrenaline as you get when you do both is so incredible and I think water polo the best thing is you know at state or at sectionals scoring a goal and seeing the red crowd roar and then basketball getting big buckets is so much fun and knowing how important it is so I don’t think I can pick one.”
A 3 year varsity starter on the Naperville Central basketball and water polo team Dougherty knew he had to give it his all no matter the sport he was playing.
“People do truly care on how the team is doing and how important it is to represent the school and the city really well I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned try to been able to keep in mind every time I step on the floor or hop to in the pool to represent the Redhawks.”
The 6 foot 6 senior got an opportunity to play in a regional as a Freshman and from there he developed into a major threat for the Redhawks the next 3 years. His gameplay impressed head coach Pete Kramer who is no stranger to a 3 year varsity starter.
“He just always plays hard and when you look at him when he’s playing he always looks tired because he just gives it his all every play and every time he has the ball or every moment or every chance he get a rebound he gives it his all so that’ll be missed and it’ll be something that hopefully our younger kids have kinda seen and bought into will carry on the tradition.”
Kramer believes that Dougherty’s ability to score from anywhere on the court makes him a dangerous player for opposing teams.
“He can shoot the 3 he’s got a great mid range game but he also can score down low in the post and at the same time on the offensive end he can handle the ball for us so he’s just a he’s a triple threat and it’s nice to have that in one player”
Dougherty had many accomplishments his senior season including hitting the 1,000 point mark, being named 2nd team All-State, averaging 18 points per game, earning a spot on the Dupage County All Area Team, and being named the Naperville Sun player of the year.
To cap it off the senior also helped the Redhawks win their first regional title in over 10 years against their crosstown rival Naperville North followed by a sectional semi final win over Glenbard East where Dougherty tied a career high with 34 points. The 4th time this season he posted a 30-point game.
The Redhawks were supposed to compete in the sectional finals against Lake Park but due to the increase of Covid-19, the IHSA was forced to cancel the rest of the High School Basketball State Tournament. Despite the shocking end, Dougherty could not have been more proud of the Central Fairytale season.
“I wouldn’t have wanted my senior season to go any other way you know we set goal at the beginning of the season 20 wins winning a regional and we accomplish those and I think above all else it’s just going to practice everyday with the guys being in the locker room everyday the bus rides after wins the bus rides after loses you know that’s the stuff I’ll remember the most.”
As we take a dive into the pool Dougherty is also a member of the Naperville Central Water Polo team where the Redhawks have captured two State titles and a third place trophy during his 3 years on varsity. The way Dougherty looks at it, it’s like Basketball in the water with a goal.
“I think the biggest difference is the fact that it’s in water and kinda the game is a lot slower than it is in basketball because you know water makes everything a little slower and swimming is slower than sprinting so I would say the speed of the game.”
With spring sports still on hold Dougherty and the Redhakws hope to get back in the pool and capture a third consecutive State title. The senior has over 100 career goals on his resume and is poised to develop into one of the state’s top offensive weapons.
Even if the IHSA cancels spring sports Dougherty’s water polo career isn’t over just yet as he will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2020 where he will play another 4 years of the aquatic sport. Dougherty has played basketball longer but did he ever consider continuing to play both?
“I would love to play both sports until I was 40 if that was possible I love them so much they give me so each of them gives me so much but you know I’m all in on water polo I’m excited to you know be as good as I possibly can in the pool and you know for the Crimson at Harvard”
Check out other stories like this one in our Athlete Profiles!
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