American Demetri McCamey has been a star for the Cairns Taipans this season in the NBL.
American Demetri McCamey has been a star for the Cairns Taipans this season in the NBL. Ian Hitchcock, Getty

US import’s keeping his NBA dream alive

LIKE most young basketballers growing up in the US, Demetri McCamey had visions of playing in the NBA.

The 24-year-old, who played alongside Michael Jordan's son Jeffrey at the University of Illinois, has starred in his first season in the NBL with the Cairns Taipans.

Averaging 12.1 points per game this season, McCamey produced a buzzer-beater and scored 20 points in his team's thrilling 79-77 win over the Wollongong Hawks in round 14.

Ahead of tonight's away game against the Perth Wildcats, McCamey said he would have no hesitation stepping up again if the game was on the line against the ladder leaders.

"I live for the big games and the big moments," said McCamey, who was part of the Houston Rockets' roster, and played in the Minnesota Timberwolves' summer team, last year.

"The NBA is a dream for me, and hopefully this is a pit stop along the way."

McCamey said his combination with fellow American import Jamar Wilson was hitting top gear at the right end of the season.

Wilson dominated last Friday night's Reptile Rumble against Townsville with 23 points in the Taipans 90-79 win.

"It took us a bit of time but I feel like we're both clicking now," McCamey told APN.

"We combined well deep into the fourth quarter against Wollongong and Townsville."

McCamey said he still had fond memories of his match winner against the Hawks.

"It felt tremendous. I got a couple at college basketball level, but that was my first one at pro level," he said.

The Taipans (8-11) are in fifth place, just behind the surging Sydney Kings (9-8). McCamey admitted the match against the Wildcats could make or break his team's season.

"We beat them on New Years Eve by matching their intensity, and we need to do that again," he said.

"Four of their guys - Damian Martin, Jermaine Beal, Jesse Wagstaff and James Ennis - all average over 40 per cent with their three-point attempts.

"So we're going to have to be on our game in defence."

Round 16 (home teams first): Thurs: NZ Breakers v Sydney, Perth v Cairns; Fri: Townsville v Wollongong; Sat: Adelaide v Cairns; Sun: Melbourne v Perth.