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Solomon lifts game to new heights for Lovejoy Wildcats

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

When Cameron Solomon steps on the floor for the Lovejoy High School basketball team he turns into a magician--a wizard who can shoot the long-range jumper, go to the basket for a slam dunk and then race back down the floor to play defense.

It's a formula Solomon has used to turn into the leading scoring for the Wildcats, who are off to an 9-8 overall record and an 8-3 mark in Region 4-AAAAA, including Tuesday night's victory over Riverdale.

Solomon and his teammates are currently in second place in the region and are all dreaming of making it to the state tournament for the first time in years.

"Winning the region and getting to state is important," Solomon said. "That's been the goal for this team all year."

The senior has elevated his game each and every year he's been in high school with some huge offensive performances this season.

Like his 36-point game against East Coweta, or his 41-point performance he turned in against Pebblebrook.

For Solomon it equals out to about a 25-point per game average through the Wildcats' first 17 contests.

"Hard work pays off," Solomon said.

Lovejoy head coach Rick Francis agrees.

"I have seen so much growth in his game this year," Francis said. "He is doing a phenomenal job. The light has finally come on, I just wish it had come on sooner."

Solomon played on the Lovejoy freshman team as a ninth grader, the junior varsity squad as a 10th grader and finally started with the varsity last season.

Despite the evolution of his game, Solomon flew below the college basketball recruiting radar until this year.

No longer.

Now, programs such as Georgia, Clemson and Auburn have shown interest after Solomon started putting up his eye-popping numbers.

There is still plenty of interest from the mid-major schools too. Florida A&M coach Eugene Harris, was at practice Wednesday to offer the Wildcats' shooting guard, a scholarship, and teams such as USC Upstate, Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky would also love to land his basketball services for the next four years.

"The sky is the limit for him," Francis said Wednesday afternoon. "I have told him he can go some place big like North Carolina if he keeps working. It's all up to him. Nobody really knows about him right now, but they are learning about him. We knew from his performance this summer, this year could be special. He controls his own destiny."

Solomon tries to tailor his game after Los Angles Laker all-star Kobe Bryant, but he is definitely his own man.

He wants to take his time in making his college plans.

"I just want to go somewhere that is a good fit for me," he said. "It needs to be a place where I fit in both athletically and academically."

Whatever he decides, he will have the support of his family.

Mother Muryle, father Chris, sister Cherrelle, and uncle Reggie Fenn are his biggest fans.

Solomon played football for a short time in his life, but basketball has taken over, and now dominates his spare time.

Once the high school season ends, Solomon turns his attention to the AAU circuit where he suits up for both the Griffin Grasshoppers and the Atlanta Planet

It's all part of the plan to make Solomon a better basketball players.

As good as Solomon is on the offensive end of floor, he and his coach know to complete the package, he must become a better defensive player.

It something Solomon works on every day.

According to Francis, Solomon is just one cog in a talented Wildcat squad.

"This is a special group, this is the first year where we haven 't had to do a lot of disciplinling," Francis said. "We have kids that have bought into what we are trying to sell. We are preaching academics, and being quality young men on and off the court."

The veteran high school coach hopes it all leads to a run in the Class AAAAA state tournament.

With Solomon leading the way, it just might.