Longtime friends share championship season on the court - The Buffalo News
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Longtime friends share championship season on the court

The friendship shared between Cameron Lewis and Christopher Miner, both juniors at Nichols School, extends far beyond the classroom to the basketball court.

Cameron and Christopher have been playing basketball since they were toddlers. They met in the fourth grade at an all-star game at the Delaware YMCA. Christopher’s team won, but that wouldn’t be the last time Cameron and Christopher crossed paths.

Both boys went to City Honors for middle school. Recognizing each other from basketball, they became instant friends.

“Some people assumed we were brothers because of how much time we spent with each other,” Cameron said.

Cameron and Christopher played junior varsity basketball for City Honors in seventh and eighth grade. Cameron attended a basketball camp at Nichols and was immediately drawn to the high school.

“I felt that Nichols had a great environment that I needed to be a part of,” said Cameron.

Christopher, who was also in the process of picking a high school, looked to Nichols because of Cameron.

“He asked if I wanted to go to a basketball camp eighth grade year and I fell for the school immediately,” said Christopher.

Cameron and Christopher have been starters on Nichols’ varsity basketball team since their freshman year, soaking in the positive energy each basketball season brings to the school.

“Every year, I look forward toward the opportunity of making the school proud because the atmosphere on campus during basketball season is unbelievable,” said Christopher.

This past basketball season at Nichols was especially “unbelievable” for the duo. Each scored their 1,000th point and cemented their spots in Nichols’ history.

Christopher, the first of the two to score 1,000 points, did so in the team’s first playoff game against Park School.

“I didn’t react much because I was much more concerned with winning the game, but it was a great feeling seeing how proud everyone was of me,” said Christopher.

It was Cameron’s turn to reach 1,000 points later in the season against Holy Trinity in New York City, after the team had a surprising run in the playoffs and won the local Manhattan Cup.

The basketball team’s victorious playoff run included beating No. 1-ranked Canisius High School in the semifinals.

“Cam and I have been playing AAU Basketball with a lot of the guys on Canisius for years,” said Christopher. “This was the matchup we wanted.”

“We were the only people that believed that we could beat Canisius,” said Cameron. “We couldn’t walk 10 feet without someone congratulating us, and this continued for almost an entire week.”

Beating Canisius High School to reach the championship game invigorated the team to finish the season strong. Nichols beat Bishop Timon-St. Jude for the Manhattan Cup, winning a bid to the Class A State Championship tournament.

“I was so overwhelmed with joy that I hugged Chris at half court when there was still seconds left in the game,” said Cameron. “I was so happy because the two of us went through a lot together those first two years at Nichols and we had dreamed about winning the cup ever since we decided to go to Nichols back in eighth grade.”

Along with winning the Manhattan Cup, Cameron and Christopher also received other awards at the end of the season. Cameron was named MVP of the Manhattan Cup Tournament and named to both First Team All-Catholic and Second Team All-Western New York for men’s basketball. Christopher was named to Second Team All-Catholic and Third Team All-Western New York.

At the annual Nichols Winter Sports Ceremony, Cameron and Christopher were named co-MVPs of the Nichols varsity team, a fitting end to an extraordinary season for not only the team, but for Cameron and Christopher’s friendship.

“Playing with Cam has definitely helped my basketball career,” said Christopher. “We push each other every day, whether in team practice or in separate workouts.”

Cameron and Christopher only have one more basketball season left at Nichols. They each plan on pursuing basketball in college, but whether or not their collegiate careers cross paths is uncertain.

“When it is all over, I will miss having so much fun with my best friend,” said Cameron. “We always found a way to smile and laugh while we played, making the journey that much better.”

Carolyn Hoffman is a junior at Nichols School.

“Playing with Cam has definitely helped my basketball career. We push each other every day, whether in team practice or in separate workouts.” – Christopher Miner, junior, Nichols

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