West Orange High senior Camryn Siemer used to come off the bench for the Warriors basketball team, but now she leads it. After seeing her game improve drastically over the last two years, Siemer is a trusty combo guard for head coach Brian Rizo and has become one of the team’s biggest scoring threats.
When did you first get into basketball, and how did you get into the sport?
I started when I was 4 or 5, and I started because my family is overall athletic — they wanted me to do something and at the time I was already in soccer, gymnastics, softball and some cheer. They were like, ‘Just try basketball,’ because my older sister tried basketball. I started in the Upward league and that’s basically how it got started.
What has kept you motivated to keep playing?
This is the only sport that I love — I love coming to practice and I love playing the game. It’s the team and the coaches — they’re uplifting. In softball I play outfield, so it’s kind of boring — you’re just standing there — and the game here is more fast-paced and more interactive with the team.
What has been your favorite thing about playing at West Orange?
Meeting new people, because my first game here was my freshman year, so it was new to me — new high school, new teammates and new everything. We adapted very well to each other, and everybody is different so you have to learn their style of playing — that was fun. One of the people that kept me most motivated was coach Ashley — she coaches at Ocoee now — and then the person that kept me motivated on the team was Morgan Beacham … she was my role model.
You play at both point guard and shooting guard — which do you spend most time playing?
It depends on the game. If we need points up he’ll put me at the shooting guard, and he’ll either get a play off where I get the ball to shoot or I get the ball to dump into the middle. Then if we need someone to handle the ball, it’s me or AJ (Ajalon Gillard).
What is the most challenging thing about playing at guard? The most fun part?
Probably guarding the other player that is a team’s best player or if they’re playing man just getting open. But I wouldn’t say there’s not much that is hard. The most fun part is shooting threes — I love shooting. (Head coach Brian Rizo) always says, ‘Somebody shoot the ball’ — don’t have to tell me twice, I’ll be ready.
What is the biggest difference you’ve seen in yourself since your freshman season?
When I started as a freshman, you know, you have that freshman vibe where you’re scared because you’re the new one. But since my freshman year I’ve definitely grown — teammate-wise and positivity-wise. I used to get down on myself, and I still do, but it’s not as bad as how it was. Ever since (Rizo) came to coach, he’s always tried to keep me uplifted, because he knows whenever I miss a shot I take that as a turnover — I don’t like missing or turning the ball over.