Former Salisbury basketball standout Cameron Stout dies at 20

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

ROWAN COUNTY — Cameron Stout was one of the best players to ever set foot on Salisbury High School’s basketball court, finishing 13th in scoring all-time by the time he graduated. That excellence did not stop when he stepped foot off of the court, however.

Stout died on Sunday in a late-night car crash just outside of Charlotte. Troopers with the N.C. State Highway Patrol said that the crash occurred when his vehicle ran off the road near the Interstate 485 and Interstate 85 intersection. He was 20 years old.

“He’ll be missed so much more than anyone can really see, because he was a part of so many lives and affected so many people,” said Bryan Withers, former Salisbury High School head basketball coach.

Withers coached Stout for all four years he spent at Salisbury. Halfway through his freshman year, Stout joined the varsity team and immediately began to make an impact that overshadowed his young age.

“Cam was a little different, because he grew up with a mom who was an assistant coach. She taught him the right way to play,” said Withers.

That right way led to Withers calling Stout one of, if not the, most team-oriented players he had been around in his decades of being involved with the sport.

“You couldn’t find anyone more unselfish, he was giving some of himself up for the good of the team. He really enjoyed the camaraderie of the team and he knew they looked up to him,” said Withers.

Withers also called Stout one of the greatest shooters he had ever coached. Stout shot nearly 40 percent from three his senior year.

For as much time as Withers spent speaking about Stout’s abilities on the basketball court, he spent more time speaking about what Stout had meant off the court to classmates, teammates and anyone else who was able to be around him.

“Cam was the one that other players or classmates could just call him and talk to him. At any time, he would give them advice, help them. He just cared so much about everyone,” said Withers.

Withers said that Stout could often be found at games for other sports, especially girl’s basketball, or around other players, encouraging them or offering them advice.

“Cam was the type of young man I think that all parents would love their sons being,” said Withers.

At the end of the day, Withers said, Stout was simply the type of person that coaches and classmates could trust.

“As a coach, you tend to worry when players aren’t around the team. But, when Cam wasn’t around practice or with the team, we didn’t worry. We knew that he had such a high character that he would be fine,” said Withers.

His senior year, Stout was voted the Rowan County Player of the Year and the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year, edging teammate and future Wake Forest commit Juke Harris.

“Coach Withers called me aside before this season and said he was expecting a lot. More than scoring, he needed leadership from me. We were going to be playing a lot of guards, so I was going to need to be able to play positions 1 to 5, I was going to have to rebound, and I was going to have to defend some bigger people. We have so many fast guards. I was mostly just trying to get the ball in the hands of those guys,” Stout told Salisbury Post sportswriter Mike London after winning the awards.

Withers said that just a few weeks ago, he was talking to a couple of the North Rowan coaches about one of the many battles the Cavaliers and Hornets had during their tenures, and Stout’s name entered the conversation.

“They talked about watching his footwork, watching what he was able to do in the air. He looked like he didn’t belong there that day. He looked like he belonged on a different level,” said Withers.