For Meadows' Cameron Christie, signing day the culmination of years of hard work
Younger brothers are always looking to cast their own shadow.
And it can be especially difficult if that older brother is playing in the NBA.
Rolling Meadows' Cameron Christie took the first step Wednesday to making his shadow nice and long.
Christie officially signed his National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Minnesota before family, teammates, coaches, administrators, and friends in the gym at Rolling Meadows where Christie has starred the last three seasons.
“It is a very exciting day and rewarding day,” Christie said. “I have worked for this for a long time. To be able to cement this is very rewarding.
Christie, who is ranked among the top 100 high school players in the nation by 247, had offers from 12 other D-1 schools before deciding on Minnesota, where he said the Gophers' support was the key factor.
“It was mainly the support,” Cameron Christie said. “It was not just the head coach. But the staff, all the assistants. They were at basically every game. They showed that they really wanted me. They laid out the game plan they had for me and the track they wanted me to take when I got there.”
Christie will also have family support with his grandfather living about 45 minutes away in Wisconsin and an aunt living in the Twin Cities.
Cameron signed the NLI in the same gym as brother Max did two years ago. Max went on to play at Michigan State for a season before declaring for the NBA draft and being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers, which were originally the Minneapolis Lakers.
Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said that Cameron is a different player than Max.
“They are totally different,” Katovich said. “But knowing Cameron, they are so competitive, he can't wait to say it is his turn.”
Katovich will have Christie as the cornerstone of his team this season.
The Mustangs return three other starters and four others from a team that was 28-6 last season.
“I think we are going to be a big target anyway,” Katovich said. “I saw rankings where we were number ten. There were seven teams above us and we are playing them. And in conference it is much improved.”
Katovich said that Cameron's shadow began to brighten in the final game of the COVID-shortened season. Cameron scored 22 points as a sophomore in the MSL championship game against Barrington.
With a pair of Big 10 signings, the Christies now become the best brother combo to play D-1 basketball in Illinois since Marian Catholic's Ulis brothers. Tyler, who graduated in 2014, played at Kentucky and then the NBA while Ahron is currently a junior at Iowa.
“It is amazing when a family like that can have two kids that are amazing and all that they have done for our program and our school,” Katovich said. “They have done way more for us than we have done for them.”
It is a trifecta Big 10 signing for the Christies since mom Katrina played at Northwestern.
“There is no one hidden in the closet,” Katrina Christie said. “Two is a lot of work.”
Max Christie. Sr. has coached both of his sons
“They have done well,” their dad said. “They have put in the work. I was happy to help when they said this is what they wanted to do.”
Katovich said it will be the end of an era when this season is over.
“It is more bitter than sweet,” Katovich said. “It has been six years of having these guys. To see Cameron's culmination today with the signing today and obviously he still has his whole season to go, it is pretty cool.”