The Drew League’s “Just Do It” series will highlight how members of the extended Drew League family use the Drew as a platform for making their craziest dreams happen through the game of basketball and life.
When it comes to chasing a hoop dream, no one knows the highs and lows like Vince Camper. Born in Long Beach, CA, and moving around for much of his upbringing, Camper found solace in the game of basketball. However, when it came to pursuing the game professionally, his unconventional build and stubborn demeanor have occasionally deterred the attention of coaches and professional scouts. Fortunately for Vince, those attributes are advantages at the Drew League, where he was able to make a new name for himself—The Body Snatcher—and earn a reputation as a baller’s baller, helping him to make his wildest basketball dreams come true.
“The Drew League has helped me tremendously,” he says, pointing out that not only has the opportunity to play against the best given him a chance to prove himself but that it’s affected him in more material ways as well. “It’s gotten me actual overseas contracts just because it’s ‘The Drew.’ My money increased from getting MVP. I’m touching people I can’t even see.”
He says that the opportunities afforded go beyond just monetary, opening his world in new ways.
“The first time I went to China was with the Drew,” he reflects. “The first time I went to Japan was because of the Drew.”
Everything changed after he was named MVP in 2015. That season saw Camper become one of the faces of the league, as he led the league in scoring. He found himself being mentioned more and more on the league’s social media, putting his name in front of people who never would have known about him otherwise.
“We didn’t have [social media] when I was younger—when you could just have direct access to somebody you would never see,” he says, on the added exposure that’s been key for him. “The Drew has over 300,000 followers [on Instagram], it’s known all over the world.”
“It was just a real legit thing (to be MVP) because my first game ever in the Drew I scored 43,” he reminisces. “Then I’m bouncing around the league, sitting on the bench, thinking ‘I just need an opportunity.'”
That opportunity came with the I Can All-Stars in 2015, where despite carrying the offensive load for an inconsistent squad, he put in week after week of gargantuan box scores, showcasing a level of heart, passion and endurance uncommon even in the most well-known pro-am league in the world.
He says that opportunity led to a domino effect that has changed his life outside the Drew League thanks to the dedication he demonstrated during that season.
“I can’t even put it into words,” he says. “It’s like trying to explain god. You can’t verbally express it, but it’s everything to me.”
While he says he hasn’t gone as far in basketball as he would have hoped, the Drew League propelled him to meet goals and dreams he knew he could achieve, if only given a shot. The Drew gave him that shot and he took it; going as far as he always knew was possible.
“I proved myself right,” he says.