British guard Cameron Hildreth commits to Wake Forest

Cameron Hildreth, one of the top international basketball recruits committing to the college route in the Class of 2021, has committed to Wake Forest, he told ESPN on Thursday.

"The main thing that stood out to me for Wake was the unbelievable staff members, from the education teachers to the team physio to the nutritionist and all the coaches. They all really appealed to me," Hildreth said. "Wake Forest has an amazing setup for the 'professional athlete,' which I really wanted to experience, that lifestyle of a pro basketball player.

"The relationship that was built between my family and the coaches was also something that was important to me, and I feel very comfortable around head coach Steve Forbes and [assistant coach] Brooks Savage, who were both very committed and showed lots of positive energy, which made me feel wanted."

A member of Great Britain's U16 and U18 national teams in 2018 and 2019, Hildreth had a breakout showing at the EuroLeague's Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) in Lithuania in February, being named to the all-tournament team after averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4 steals per game. The 6-foot-5 guard was slated to be a leading player for Great Britain's national team at the U18 European Championship in August, but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The ANGT tournament was incredible for me," Hildreth said. "I never expected to play as well as I did, nor know if I was capable to do what I do in England in Europe. After the tournament, I had quite a few professional opportunities in Europe. However, as humbled and appreciative as I was to be hearing these offers, my dream and goal since I was able to walk was to play college basketball in America. To be able to say that I'm going to the most famous league, the ACC, playing the best of the best with a wonderful program, excites me so much. It's going to be a challenge, but I love competing, so I can't wait for the season to start."

Hildreth has already seen time at the pro level with the Worthing Thunder in England's NBL D1 competition, averaging 20.6 points, 6 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season while shooting 42% from 3-point range. He also played in England's school level competition, the ABL, where he was named MVP of the Southern Conference.

A combo guard with impressive scoring instincts, creativity and aggressiveness, as well as deep shooting range, Hildreth is the second backcourt player Forbes has added to his inaugural recruiting class at Wake Forest this week, after four-star point guard Carter Whitt announced his commitment. Hildreth picked Wake Forest over a group of schools that included Arkansas and Xavier.

"Coach Forbes and his coaching past was something that is very unique and I want to be a part of and learn from," Hildreth said. "To be able to help this program succeed and build in a positive direction is a great challenge.

"I've had the 'role' conversation with the coaches a few times now, and what I like is that they are bringing me in to play my game and not to change it. I'm an energy guy, I love to compete, I feel I'm capable to be known as a scorer, and I have a high enough IQ to be a good point guard. I'm just willing to play any role on the team that allows us to win. Because I hate to lose more than I love to win."

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and international teams.