Joseph goes up for a shot during a 2019 tournament in Lathrop.

Joseph signs with Northwest Missouri State

Cameron High School senior guard Laini Joseph announced she will play for the Northwest Missouri State University Lady Bearcat Basketball Program.

Joseph announced her verbal commitment to play for NWMSU during a teleconference with local media Saturday morning inside Cameron High School Co-Athletic Director Matt Wenck’s office.

“I couldn’t find a negative. There wasn’t really a why not. It’s the perfect place for me,” Joseph said. “The team, the culture, I just love it there. They play a lot of four-out-one (offense) and I’m going to be a guard. We do a lot of four-out-one here with Olivia Moore (junior, center) so it’s a similar style. They really want to get up, go and play and not necessarily call plays. That was very appealing to me as well.” 

In her first season with the Cameron Dragons, after transferring from Indiana, Joseph made the All-Midland Empire Conference first-team and selected for the 3A All-Star Team. She ended the season with a team-leading 459 points while also leading the team in assists with 112, rebounds with 204, 3-pointers with 64 while shooting 74 percent from the free-throw line. Earlier this year, she eclipsed 1,000 career points. Joseph was also named to the all-district team. 

“[Committing] takes a lot of pressure off. I can just have fun. I don’t have to worry about performing like somebody is watching,” Joseph said.  “I’m just happy to finally find a place that fits me and feels like a home away from home. It’s going to be a fun year and not so much pressure. I feel great. I am so at peace with it.”

Wenck, who also serves as the head coach of the CHS girls basketball team, said Joseph will be a great fit with Northwestern State and hopes she can be an example to her teammates.

“I’m happy for her. All of her hard work, and not just when she moved here but before that, is paying off,” Wenck said. “Her goal was to get a full athletic scholarship and she achieved that. It’s a feather in her hat and it will be a burden off her family. They won’t have to worry about paying for a college education and she’s going to a great university.”

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