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Buckley all business for UCI

Women's Basketball

Senior double-double artist toils tirelessly in pursuit of points and rebounds for Anteaters' women.

January 02, 2014|By Barry Faulkner
  • UC Irvine's Camille Buckley (24) is averaging 14.8 points and 9.2 rebounds, both tops on the team heading into Thursday’s 5 p.m. nonconference home game against La Verne.
UC Irvine's Camille Buckley (24) is averaging 14.8… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Camille Buckley is not a business major at UC Irvine. She just plays one on the basketball court.

The Anteaters' senior post is as effusive and effervescent off the court as your average stand-up comedienne. But when it comes time to lace up the hi-tops, there's clearly no time for high jinx.

"It has just always been that basketball is business," said Buckley, a fifth-year senior who began playing at age 6 and has virtually devoted her life to the game ever since. "You are coming to work, and do what you can. You do your job, and then you go home. After that, your personality can come out. But on the court, it's just business."

Buckley's job for the Anteaters is to continually overachieve, squeezing every ounce of performance, as well as some substantial statistics, out of a an athletic frame for which a 6-foot-1 listing on the roster should come with a serious disclaimer.

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"I mean, Camille is carrying more than her load," said UCI Coach Doug Oliver, for whom Buckley is averaging 14.8 points and 9.2 rebounds, both tops on the team heading into Thursday's 5 p.m. nonconference home game against La Verne. "We are happy with her contribution and her progress. She has gotten better [since last season, when she averaged 11.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game and was the only player to average a double-double in Big West Conference games – 11.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per contest], and I think that's really a plus for us.

"Defensively [her 21 steals lead the 6-7 squad], she has done a really good job for being an undersized post player and being able to rebound the ball like she has," Oliver said.

Buckley's shooting percentages (from 45.2% from the field to 48.1% and from 66.9 on the foul line to 80.5, the latter coming on 82 attempts, well more than her next two closest teammates combined - 71) have both improved this season. And, Oliver said, her ability to lead with consistent performance has also meant a lot to a team that has played just two home games thus far.

Determination and focus are only part of the package, however, as Buckley's year-round devotion to the game she was inspired to play after viewing the movie "Space Jam" has rendered a sound fundamental foundation to go with an instinctive knack for finding the ball in the paint.

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