Teplicek signs to play basketball at Jacksonville College
As Lady Blues center Cammi Teplicek signs to play basketball at Jacksonville College, Graham High School sends another athlete off to college.
“I just think it’s a nice college,” Teplicek said. “It’s in a good place, and it’s a good Christian college. I’ve heard a lot of nice things about it.”
The signing comes after a season in which she averaged 13.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, an output worthy of District 6-4A offensive most valuable player honors. The bond between coach and athlete started in 2015 with a welcoming gift from Coach Graham.
“We had heard that the family was moving to Graham,” Coach Graham said. “Obviously, they told me because she’s a post girl and really tall(...) The family moved in right around the corner from us. Lanis (Graham’s wife) said we should make a casserole (…)it was a taquito casserole. So that is when I met the Tepliceks.”
For the Teplicek family, it was a warm, accepting welcome to their new home.
“She got into high school and we (moved) here, they kinda took her like ‘I’m so glad you’re here,” said Pam Teplicek, Cammi’s mother. “Coach Graham came to our front door and brought her a shirt and a casserole. We were so excited to be here because everybody accepted it.”
It was during Cammi’s sophomore season when she realized that playing in college was an opportunity she could realistically earn. She played on the varsity for two years before going out of state during the summer of 2019 to play in AAU tournaments and improve her game. Those are experiences Cammi shared with her mom.
“It’s time,” Pam said. “It’s a lot of time and a lot of traveling and commitment. She played on a select team and went to Georgia and Indianapolis to get more playing experience so she could come back her senior year and be a better player for the Lady Blues (...) We’ve worked for this ever since she was a little girl.”
Another source of inspiration and practice has come from her brother Brandon, a member of the Steers basketball team. The two share a close bond that’s also competitive.
“Having two post (players), they work with each other,” Pam said. “He doesn’t let down on her either.” The two spent many years in the driveway competing against each other and making each other better.
“Not very many girls are my height,” Cammi said. “It’s been really helpful for him because he’s like 6(foot)-7(inches). I don’t ever play against that. It’s helped me a lot and brought me confidence.” That includes helping break Cammi out of cold streaks on the basketball court.
“There were times she would go on a cold streak so we would go outside, and I would make her shoot over me,” Brandon said. “I would stand there with my arms up. Then in the next game, she would be right back where she needed to be.”
From her time at Graham, Coach Graham says that her last game as a Lady Blue will stand out to him.
“I will always be so thankful for her and for her last game,” Graham said. “I think she showed how great of a desire she did not want this to end. Cammi brought it that night. She was just a dominant force. I think it was the culmination of what she could be. I think what motivates her so much is her love for her teammates.”
Teplicek scored the first eight points of the Feb. 22 area playoff game against Decatur to give her team an early lead over the Lady Eagles. She scored the final points of the Lady Blues’ season with 1:55 remaining in overtime, and her last-second shot rimmed out, sealing the 54-53 loss. She finished the game with 22 points and six rebounds; her one missed field goal would have won the game.
She is going to be a science major during her two years at junior college before transferring. Her goal is to be a surgical technician, specializing in orthopedics.