Cameron Forte, other former East Valley stars return for junior college tourney
It’s been a winding journey in the collegiate life of Cameron Forte, and this weekend it’s bringing him back to Arizona.
The former McClintock star — and the Tribune’s 2009-10 Boys Basketball Player of the Year — went to Texas Tech for a year as a freshman but never played a game. He transferred to Northern Arizona last offseason but couldn’t get a waiver to suit up right away, so he headed to Howard College in Big Springs, Texas, where former high school coach Jase Coburn is an assistant.
It’s worked out nicely for Forte there, as he is averaging 23.9 points per game — third nationally in the junior college ranks — and 8.1 rebounds.
Howard is in Arizona this weekend for Mesa Community College’s Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout. The Hawks are 11-0 on the season and ranked No. 2 in the country among junior college programs.
Howard faces off with Salt Lake Community College on Friday at 2 p.m. at Mesa Community College. Salt Lake City features former Brophy star Sai Tummala and Highland standout K.C. Toolson.
Mesa is 9-2 on the season and won this prestigious tournament a year ago. The Thunderbirds have several familiar names on their roster, including former East Valley standouts Angel Ung (Skyline), Tylor Wimbish (Mountain Pointe), Eric Hunt (Mountain View) and Kyle Tomlinson (Dobson). Wimbish leads Mesa with averages of 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while Hunt adds 12.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.
Mesa’s first game is on Friday at 6 p.m. against Eastern Utah.
Former Desert Mountain standout Austin Cooke plays for Central Arizona, which is also participating in the Shootout. The tournament culminates with a championship game on Sunday at 8 p.m. at Mesa Community College.