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Reunited: South’s Cam Marks signs with Charleston, joins former coach Brett Rector

Photo by Jordan Holland Parkersburg South graduate Cam Marks (second from left) signs to play basketball at the University of Charleston. His mom Beckey Marks (far left), dad Rod Marks (second from right) and sister Mallory Marks (far right) look on.

PARKERSBURG — In Brett Rector’s one year as the Parkersburg South boys basketball coach, he built a special relationship with senior point guard Cam Marks.

“From day one when I got here, I thought he was a guy that could have a huge year for us,” Rector said this winter during the Patriots’ run to the state tournament. “He’s just worked and continued to get better. Just within the last couple weeks, I just feel like he’s playing really free and confident and that’s been just a huge help for our team. He just does so many things for our team, just stuffs the stat sheet. He does so many things for our team that aren’t on the stat sheet. He’s so good at finding the open guy in transition. He’s so good at getting our team in our offensive sets.”

Rector returned to the University of Charleston as an assistant coach after the 2019-20 hoops campaign. Marks, whose senior year and state championship hopes were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, didn’t want his basketball career to be over. Thursday, outside of the Rod Oldham Athletic Center, Marks signed to play basketball at Charleston for Rector and head coach Dwaine Osborne.

“Really, coach Rector,” Marks said when asked about his decision. “He really believed in me and when he told me he had a spot open for me I took it right away. I was just so excited to be able to continue playing basketball for him.”

Marks mostly played junior varsity for South until his senior year when he became the team’s starting point guard. He finished the season averaging 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. It was his assists (5.2 per game) that really stood out, though.

Marks was one of the top passers in the Mid-Ohio Valley this season, an attribute he thinks will help him at the next level.

“I enjoy making the pass first. It’s going to sound kind of stupid,” Marks laughed, “but you can feel the appreciation coming from your teammates. You give them a wide open shot and they run down the floor and they high-five you or point at you and say, ‘Hey, nice pass.’ I just like that. Honestly it leads to more team success and keeps everybody happy.”

In total, Marks tallied 124 assists to 59 turnovers this season. He also shot 43% from the floor, 39% from 3 and 69% from the free-throw line.

As Rector mentioned, some of what Marks does isn’t always noticeable on stat sheet, especially on the defensive end of the floor. It all starts with his effort and intensity.

“He has a high activity level on defense, getting deflections, getting into passing lanes, doing all that type of stuff and he is our most active guy,” Rector said. “If you look at him, he’s not overly strong or big or anything like that, but he’s just so active. He’s got a high motor, which allows him to do well in all those categories — rebounds, steals, that type of stuff. He just really cares about it. He’s just such a great kid and he has a high level of care.”

Having been a reserve player the first three years of high school, Marks got to observe some top-tier guard play.

“This year was my first year really stepping into a varsity role,” he explained. “I think sitting behind all the talented guards we’ve had — Cole Plants, Shane Snider, Todd Burner, Seth (Fallon) — just sitting behind them and learning, just trying to get as much as I can to be the best player I can possibly be.”

One highlight from this season Marks won’t soon forget was when he put up a triple-double in a victory over rival Parkersburg High School. Marks finished that game with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 dimes. Production like that is a big reason South was one of the final eight triple-A teams standing.

Looking ahead, Marks plans to major in business administration, “but from what everybody tells me, everybody changes their major about five or six times,” he laughed.

As the country has started to open back up, Marks has been able to be more active in preparation for his college career.

“Recently I’ve been shooting and running about three days a week,” he said. “And now I’ve got a workout program sent in from coach Rector where I can lift and get stuff ready for college.”

Marks also considered Concord or Kentucky Wesleyan and running cross country there, “but I like playing basketball,” he said. “Basketball’s always been my love.”

Contact Jordan Holland at jholland@newsandsentinel.com.

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