By: Jack Henkels
Some of you might remember Cameron Bairstow as that guy with the long hair who played for Australia in the Olympics this year. Or, maybe you remember Bairstow as a second round pick of the Bulls in the 2014 draft. Or, maybe you remember him from his stellar career at New Mexico.
Or, maybe you don’t remember him at all.
Well, those guys missed out. Cameron Bairstow was a long-haired basketball savant. His senior year as a Lobo, Bairstow averaged 20.4 ppg and 7.4 rpg. They were slated as a 7-seed against the 10-seeded Stanford Cardinal.
Maybe you were like me. Maybe you picked them to not only dismantle Stanford, but also to upset the 2-seeded Kansas to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Maybe you even hold this against our beloved Bairstow.
Well, let me right that ship right now. In that NCAA Tournament opening round loss to Stanford, Bairstow totaled 24 points on 10/18 from the field. Cameron put on an absolute clinic. (Are we really surprised? This man is a legend). They lost because the other team, Stanford, was guided by point guard Chasson Randle. He scored 23 on 7/15 from the field in a 5-point victory.
Here’s the thing about Chasson Randle: Not only has he floated around the NBA on 10-day contracts this year, he was raised in the Quad Cities.
For those of you unfamiliar, the Quad Cities are four towns that span the Mississippi River across Iowa and Illinois. Moline and Rock Island rest on the eastern side in Illinois, while Davenport and Bettendorf sit on the western bank.
What does this have to do with Chasson Randle’s greatness, you might ask? Well, Randle hails from Rock Island. Your dear friend and author of this piece, Jack, was born in Davenport. His grandmother lives in Moline, still, to this day. Greatness is born and flourishes in the Quad Cities. John Deere is headquartered there. We simply cannot expect anyone to beat Quad City-native Chasson Randle in anything. Thus, we must give our man Cameron a pass on that loss.
Bairstow is still a great man. So what if he busted your bracket three years ago? Get over it. You should have known better betting against a man from Rock Island. That’s your own fault. Don’t hold it against Cameron.
Unfortunately, Bairstow didn’t really stick in the NBA. Per his social media, he currently plays for the Brisbane Bullets in Australia. Man, I’d do anything for that man to return to the states and give the NBA another go. We can dream.