AMY KAME LEAVES AN INDELIBLE IMPRINT ON USD BASKETBALL
The basketball left Amy Kame’s fingertips and arced through the air toward the hoop the same way it had done thousands of times before; seams rotating perfectly — just as her brother had taught her — and her shooting hand pointed directly at the target on the follow-through.
This, however, was no run-of-the-mill practice drill in her family driveway. This was a contested baseline jump-shot with 1.3 seconds left in a West Coast Conference (WCC) quarterfinal matchup between USD and longtime rival St. Mary’s. Down by just two points, the Toreros looked to their captain to do what she had done so many times before during her prolific career; make a game-changing play when it mattered most.
Unfortunately, the ball failed to find its mark at the bottom of the net, but there’s absolutely no doubt in USD Basketball Head Coach Cindy Fisher’s mind that Kame was the right person for the job. In fact, if she could do it all over again, Fisher would put the ball right back in the hands of her star senior guard without blinking an eye. “It’s been a real pleasure to watch Amy develop as a player in the time she’s been with our program,” Fisher says. “She’s always been an amazing person, and her leadership qualities are exceptional. I think she’s the best player in our league, and I trust her to make the right play at the right time.”
The product of a “sports crazy family,” Kame grew up playing pick-up games against her brother, Clay, in the gyms and outdoor courts around their Grand Junction, Colo., home. The competition, while occasionally heated, proved to be beneficial in the long run, and Kame credits their sibling rivalry for helping her develop an offensive repertoire that has stymied just about every defense in the WCC.
“I think those games with my brother really helped me figure out the way I wanted to play,” Kame recalls. “He was stronger than me, so I had to figure out how to score on him. That’s where I developed my mid-range game, and it’s worked out pretty well for me.”
Just how well? Try two consecutive First-Team ALL-WCC honors, a lofty 16.6 points-per-game average during the 2013-14 season, and an incredible streak of play last January (she averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists over a four-game span) that earned her NCAA Division I Player of the Week honors, becoming the first player in the history of USD Basketball to earn that distinction. Couple in the fact that she’s amassed all those impressive on-court laurels while maintaining a 3.7 grade point average as a communications major, and it’s easy to understand why Kame is recognized as one of the all-time greats in program history.
“She’s one of the best players we’ve ever had here at USD, and she’ll be a success in whatever she chooses to do,” Fisher says. — Mike Sauer