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Despite a leg injury, John Campbell remains committed to the Duncan boys basketball team.
He continues to show up for practice and joins his teammates for games.
“Even though I can’t play, I can still be out there encouraging them and helping in any way I can,” Campbell said.
Campbell’s commitment to the program has impressed Demon coach Ben Scott. The first-year head coach remembers Campbell asking him if he could join the team when offseason workouts began.
“He made an impact immediately because of his leadership, competitiveness and willingness to be on time,” Scott said. “I was excited to have him.”
Campbell hadn’t played basketball since his freshman year, but missed the sport and wanted to return.
“I missed being a part of basketball and the intensity,” he said. “And I like Coach Scott a lot.”
Campbell added he wanted to be with his friends and find a way to contribute in his senior year.
Though Campbell had missed two years of high school ball, he quickly picked up on the offense, Scott said
“You could tell he was still actively playing pick-up basketball and shooting in the gym,” the coach said. “He just needed to get used to playing 5A competition again.”
Campbell’s season was cut short with a stress fracture in his fibula, which Campbell believes happened during practice. He played the first four games of the season, then visited a doctor, who informed him of the injury.
“You could tell he was limping,” Scott said.
Campbell has worn a boot for several weeks. He can remove the boot off Monday, but will not be cleared to play for at least two weeks.
Even though he will likely not play another basketball game this season, Campbell wanted to stick by his teammates.
“It’s my senior year and I love being around these guys,” he said. “Once I graduate, I won’t be able to be part of it, so I just let every moment sink in.”
That is reflected in Campbell’s pride for his school. He was one of several students who painted their bodies red and ran the flag onto the field before football games. Campbell had been part of the student section, dubbed the Ring of Fire, that cheers on the Demons during basketball contests.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Campbell said. “You only get one chance to do it in high school. I just want to get support on the field. It’s a great time.
“It helps the team because they know, if they have the whole school supporting them, it will make them work even harder.”
Scott remembers attending a Rotary Club meeting to talk about the basketball team. Campbell was present as one of the club’s students of the month.
“Not only did I get to brag about the boys I had, but I had one of the kids present with me,” Scott said. “You can’t be a better ambassador than John Campbell has been.”