Lehigh men’s basketball first-year guard Cam Gillus (0) drives to the rim guarded by Lafayette’s Mark Butler (10) in the second half of the game on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Stabler Arena. The first-year played a season high 43 minutes in the game, garnering seven rebounds and two assists. (Jamie Young/B&W Staff)

Mens Basketball first year rises as rookie


Lehigh men’s basketball first-year guard Cam Gillus has been a fast riser in his rookie season,  finding himself as a starter when he was not expected to play such a prominent role. 

In the wake of an injury to star guard Keith Higgins, coach Brett Reed turned to Gillus to step up, resulting in increased minutes and a starting role early into his career. Including his first start on Jan. 20 against American University, Gillus has been on the court for the opening tip-off in eight games, averaging 32 minutes across those contests. 

In starts, Gillus averages 6 points and 3.8 rebounds despite being a 5-11 guard. He is also third on the team in assists and fourth in steals on the season.

With his performances of the year, there is no question if Gillus can play. But he’s not the only one in his family who can.

Basketball runs in the Gillus family. His mother, Angela Gillus, played college basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University. He cites her as one of the reasons why he started playing basketball.

“I started playing basketball at a young age,” Gillus said.” “[My mother] fostered that love and influenced it onto me, and I carried it on and fell in love with it.” 

It was not just his mom who had a heavy influence on him growing up, but his father as well. He was someone who gave Gillus a push when it was needed. 

For Gillus, his hard work and actions off the court are the reasons he’s seen a bigger role down the stretch.

Junior guard Tyler Whitney-Sidney has taken notice of Gillus’ reserved demeanor and strong work ethic. 

“He’s really quiet, he will constantly be walking around, head down with his headphones down but is also a super funny kid that loves being around the guys and has been a great addition to our team,” Whitney-Sidney said. 

Despite Gillus’ quiet personality, assistant coach Harry Morra said that he continues to improve his communication skills to create bonds with his teammates. 

“He’s gotten the respect of the upperclassmen and they all appreciate what he does and know that he can play,” Morra said.  

When Gillus was looking for schools, he had a variety of enticing options, including Howard University and Bryant University, two teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2022 and 2023, respectively, but Gillus ultimately committed to Lehigh. 

After arriving at Lehigh, Gillus needed to learn a whole new offense and adapt to a new culture after arriving from Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. His acclimation to the program was supported by the upperclassmen. 

Gillus said, in particular, Whitney-Sidney, junior guard Keith Higgins, senior guard Jalin Sinclair and senior forward Dominic Parolin were teammates who helped him adjust to Lehigh’s program. 

“They all showed me how things work and encouraged me to be the best I can,” Gillus said.  

With the injuries to both starting guards early into Patriot League play, the first-year did not have much time to learn before he was thrust into a pivotal starting role. Despite the short time to learn the role, Morra was impressed by how calm and collected he has been throughout the season. 

“You never see him too high, you never see him too low. He’s like that in the classroom, off the court, in the locker room, and team meals, he’s always composed,” Morra said. “He’s always going to be a great leader and he’s always going to be a great role model.” 

Despite everything that he has learned at Lehigh, Gillus continues to keep one piece of advice, a message from his high school coach close to his heart.

“My high school coach (told) me to trust myself and be who you are,” Gillus said. “When you’re going to college or a new place where you’re not as familiar, just continue to trust yourself and trust who you are because that’s what got you to that point.”

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply