2016-17 Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Warren County’s Ford has memorable senior season

Warren's Cam Ford glides by George Mason's Dustin Green on a fast break during a game on Feb. 6 in Fornt Royal. Ford averaged 20 points and an area-best 2.8 steals per game for Warren County this season. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — Cam Ford made the most of his senior basketball season.

The Warren County three-sport standout reached several milestones and took his game to new heights on the basketball court.

“I’d say it was a good way to end with Warren County,” Ford said last week after baseball practice. “This school is where my dad started. So it’s where I’ve always wanted to go. I think the stats showed that I did pretty good. But overall I think it was a pretty good season. I just liked playing and going through it with all of my friends.”

Warren County coach Tony Clark said that one of Ford’s biggest milestones showed just how much his teammates loved playing with him.

Ford, The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2016-17 Boys Basketball Player of the Year, reached his 1,000th point in a loss to Central on Jan. 20. He scored his 1,000th point on a 3-pointer. Ford’s teammate Brendan McMackin had a wide-open layup, but instead passed the ball to Ford so that he could get his 1,000th point.

“For your second-leading scorer to pass open a wide-open layup, because he was more worried about Cam getting his 1,000 points says a lot about McMackin’s unselfishness. But it also shows how much respect they have for Cam,” Clark said.

Ford said scoring 1,000 points meant a lot to him. He said it didn’t really sink in until later what a big accomplishment it was.

Just a week before reaching 1,000 points, Ford had another impressive feat. The shooting guard scored 37 points in a victory over Rappahannock County. The 37 points was the most points by a player in a game since the school split with Skyline in 2007.

He scored 28 consecutive points for Warren County during one stretch of the game and made seven 3-pointers.

“It was a good moment and I didn’t want to share it with any other team, coaching staff,” Ford said. “Everyone in the school helped me get there. It was basically everyone. …My teammates — they helped share the ball. They got me open.”

Ford averaged 20 points, 2.4 assists and an area-best 2.8 steals per game.

Clark said that Ford’s defense made a big impact on the team.

He said that at the start of the season they didn’t want to put him on the other team’s best player because they were worried that it might hurt Ford on offense. Clark said they changed their mind as the season went and it paid off.

“I’d say about a quarter of the way into the season we realized we needed him defensively,” Clark said. “That was a pleasant surprise for us. Just him being able to continue his offensive momentum and still defending the best player from the other team.”

Ford said that his biggest improvement in his senior season was his ability to drive to the basket. Ford’s always been a shooter, but this year he was able to attack the basket and either make a layup or get to the foul line.

“I think driving to the basket opened up a whole lot more shots on the outside,” Ford said. “Because when I would drive everyone would sink and leave open shooters out on the wing. I think that helped the basketball team a whole lot.”

The Wildcats didn’t have the success in terms of wins and losses that Ford would have liked. However, he said that he enjoyed being part of the 8-14 team and will never forget his teammates and the fun that they had.

“The season was fun,” Ford said. “There’s more than just being out on that court with them. It’s the atmosphere when you’re in practice — how intense it is. Having fun with your friends. Just doing things together after practice, before practice, going out to eat before games. Those are just great moments and memories that I will never forget as a high school player.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com