The High School Career of Cameron Giles
If you’ve ever watched "Killa Season"1, there’s a clip early on in the film that shows Cam’ron and Mase as teammates on the high school basketball team playing in a championship game, losing as Cam’ron’s desperate heave at the buzzer rims out.
I’ve always wondered since seeing this what exactly became of Cameron Giles’ basketball career, and how things could’ve turned out instead.
Giles played for the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics2 located in the East Harlem Neighborhood of Manhattan at East 116th Street3. Aside from Mase, alumni include Dame Dash4, Mekhi Phifer and Sanaa Lathan.
In the same tournament as the aforementioned championship game, Giles’ Manhattan Center team upset Lincoln High School, who came into the game having won 22 of their last 24 and going undefeated in Brooklyn Division I. Giles and teammate Sherman Jones combined for 35. Important to note because Lincoln was led by a young point guard phenom named Stephon Marbury.
In 1992, Harvey Araton of The New York Times wrote a game summary of the title game between Manhattan Center and Brandeis High School.
It was the Public Schools Athletic League Class A basketball championship at Madison Square Garden.
The two teams shared first place during the regular season, and Manhattan Center had won both meetings prior. Brandeis led 55-53 with just seconds left on the clock, having almost blown a 10 point lead in the fourth.
The series of events that followed were transcribed this way in the report:

With 4.2 seconds left, Wright missed the front end of a one-and-one. Giles grabbed the ball and raced upcourt.
On the bench at the far end of the court, the Manhattan Center coach, Randall Glading, saw his man inside the 3-point line, shooting for a tie and overtime. At the near end, Brandeis coach Maurice Hicks was sure Giles was outside the line and about to send him home a loser.
"It looked like it was going straight in," Hicks said. "I couldn’t look."
The ball bounced off the rim.

That game might’ve defined Giles’ high school career, but basketball wasn’t over yet.
According to this interview with ESPN Magazine, schools like Georgetown and the University of Miami were interested in him, but Giles never finished his senior year of high school, skipping out after his team lost in the first round of the playoffs, and ended up getting his GED and attending Navarro Junior College in Texas.
But Giles tore his hamstring and redshirted his first year.
He came back home and that’s when music took off and he never looked back.
When asked to describe which NBA players’ style reminds him of his own game, Giles commented:

"Maybe a 1998-1999 Allen Iverson. When he was a little younger. I would have to compare myself to AI/Bruce Bowen, because I was definitely defensive-oriented."

There’s not much footage to validate that, unless you count crossing over David Arquette at the MTV Rock ‘N’ Jock event in 1998 as proof.
I’ll always know Cameron Giles as the rapper and leader of Dipset, but this bit of research makes me wonder how he could’ve turned out if the basketball thing worked out.
Funny thing is, if it did, we may have never known him as well as we do now, and he very well could’ve just fallen by the wayside like many other prospects before him.
All of this is weird to think about, but not as weird as referring to him as Cameron Giles for an entire piece.
I should’ve made the font pink on this one or something. 
Footnotes:
1 I can’t remember how, why or when; but I have a copy of the movie but never made it past the first hour. I do remember a scene where Cam’ron and his crew beat down a man and urinated on him while yelling No Homo. Consider this a review.
2 Most of the articles that I read involving Giles’ high school career references the school as Manhattan Center High School, I think at some point, the school started to emphasize science and math. It is now one of the highest performing schools in New York, with a 95% graduation rate. This is my educational footnote.
3 From the Boogie Down Productions song “The P Is Free”: "Ridin’ one day on a freestyle fix, jammin’ to a tape Scott La Rock had mixed, I said to myself this tape sound funky, ridin’ past the 116th street junkie".
4 The two would come together on this Bill O’Reilly segment, one of the most inspiring, ignorant and hilarious on air discussions of our generation.

The High School Career of Cameron Giles

If you’ve ever watched "Killa Season"1, there’s a clip early on in the film that shows Cam’ron and Mase as teammates on the high school basketball team playing in a championship game, losing as Cam’ron’s desperate heave at the buzzer rims out.

I’ve always wondered since seeing this what exactly became of Cameron Giles’ basketball career, and how things could’ve turned out instead.

Giles played for the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics2 located in the East Harlem Neighborhood of Manhattan at East 116th Street3. Aside from Mase, alumni include Dame Dash4, Mekhi Phifer and Sanaa Lathan.

In the same tournament as the aforementioned championship game, Giles’ Manhattan Center team upset Lincoln High School, who came into the game having won 22 of their last 24 and going undefeated in Brooklyn Division I. Giles and teammate Sherman Jones combined for 35. Important to note because Lincoln was led by a young point guard phenom named Stephon Marbury.

In 1992, Harvey Araton of The New York Times wrote a game summary of the title game between Manhattan Center and Brandeis High School.

It was the Public Schools Athletic League Class A basketball championship at Madison Square Garden.

The two teams shared first place during the regular season, and Manhattan Center had won both meetings prior. Brandeis led 55-53 with just seconds left on the clock, having almost blown a 10 point lead in the fourth.

The series of events that followed were transcribed this way in the report:

With 4.2 seconds left, Wright missed the front end of a one-and-one. Giles grabbed the ball and raced upcourt.

On the bench at the far end of the court, the Manhattan Center coach, Randall Glading, saw his man inside the 3-point line, shooting for a tie and overtime. At the near end, Brandeis coach Maurice Hicks was sure Giles was outside the line and about to send him home a loser.

"It looked like it was going straight in," Hicks said. "I couldn’t look."

The ball bounced off the rim.

That game might’ve defined Giles’ high school career, but basketball wasn’t over yet.

According to this interview with ESPN Magazine, schools like Georgetown and the University of Miami were interested in him, but Giles never finished his senior year of high school, skipping out after his team lost in the first round of the playoffs, and ended up getting his GED and attending Navarro Junior College in Texas.

But Giles tore his hamstring and redshirted his first year.

He came back home and that’s when music took off and he never looked back.

When asked to describe which NBA players’ style reminds him of his own game, Giles commented:

"Maybe a 1998-1999 Allen Iverson. When he was a little younger. I would have to compare myself to AI/Bruce Bowen, because I was definitely defensive-oriented."

There’s not much footage to validate that, unless you count crossing over David Arquette at the MTV Rock ‘N’ Jock event in 1998 as proof.

I’ll always know Cameron Giles as the rapper and leader of Dipset, but this bit of research makes me wonder how he could’ve turned out if the basketball thing worked out.

Funny thing is, if it did, we may have never known him as well as we do now, and he very well could’ve just fallen by the wayside like many other prospects before him.

All of this is weird to think about, but not as weird as referring to him as Cameron Giles for an entire piece.

I should’ve made the font pink on this one or something.

Footnotes:

1 I can’t remember how, why or when; but I have a copy of the movie but never made it past the first hour. I do remember a scene where Cam’ron and his crew beat down a man and urinated on him while yelling No Homo. Consider this a review.

2 Most of the articles that I read involving Giles’ high school career references the school as Manhattan Center High School, I think at some point, the school started to emphasize science and math. It is now one of the highest performing schools in New York, with a 95% graduation rate. This is my educational footnote.

3 From the Boogie Down Productions song “The P Is Free”: "Ridin’ one day on a freestyle fix, jammin’ to a tape Scott La Rock had mixed, I said to myself this tape sound funky, ridin’ past the 116th street junkie".

4 The two would come together on this Bill O’Reilly segment, one of the most inspiring, ignorant and hilarious on air discussions of our generation.

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