Newly Chosen Jr. Tall Fern Chooses Sunday Worship over Workout

  • 17 April 2012

Camece Salmon

"Regardless of knowing that Sunday was a crucial day in the selection process, " she says, "It was an easy choice for me. I had one day to give it heaps and I thought I did alright."

Porirua, NEW ZEALAND – Six foot one inch tall Camece Salmon, says being chosen for the New Zealand Jr. Fern basketball team was “definitely a welcome surprise,” especially considering the important decision she made at the try outs during the final selection camp weekend.

While the other hopeful candidates had both Saturday and Sunday to impress the selection team, 17 year old Camece only had Saturday to show her talents, because she chose not to play basketball on Sunday. Camece, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has made the decision to keep the Sabbath for family activities and worship services, so she informed the selection committee she would only play on Saturday. “Regardless of knowing that Sunday was a crucial day in the selection process, ” she says, “It was an easy choice for me. I had one day to give it heaps and I thought I did alright.”

And she certainly performed better than 'alright'. It only took one day to catch the selection team's attention with her skills and enthusiasm, all without sacrificing her personal beliefs.

Camece, the second oldest of five children, comes from a family of basketball players, including her older sister who represented New Zealand as a Jr. Tall Fern in 2010. Many hours spent shooting hoops with her siblings, cousins and friends, 'just down the road' at their local chapel, has certainly paid off for Camece in numerous ways.

This year she will join the team for tournaments in China and Australia. The winning team of a three match series in Australia will then play in the Fiba World Under 19 Championship next year in Greece.

“I'm very grateful that I have this opportunity, not only to represent New Zealand in these tournaments, but to be an ambassador for the Church. My teammates know that I'm a Mormon, and some have asked questions about the Church. Hopefully, I'll be able to do some missionary work as well.”