New Castle News


July 2, 2013

Little Dribbler: Neshannock Township girl becomes YouTube sensation with basketball skills

NEW CASTLE — Jesus once told a couple of guys with nets that he would make them fishers of men.

Eight-year-old Camdyn Cole has a similar evangelistic goal in mind. Her net, though, is a little different.

Camdyn is a budding basketball prodigy whose dribbling skills are featured in an online video that’s been a slam dunk over the past few days. Posted on the YouTube channel of New Castle’s Steve McGranahan — a.k.a., the World’s Strongest Redneck, who uses his feats of strength to inspire and challenge audiences — the video had received more than 300,000 hits as of yesterday afternoon. It also was shown yesterday morning as the “Play of the Day” of ABC-TV’s Good Morning America.

Google “8-year-old girl dribbler,” and you’ll find Camdyn and her expert ball-handling referenced in such places as the Bleacher Report (“She has the dribbling skills of Trey Burke and slicker handles than a French wardrobe”), the Washington Times and

Each lavishes praise on her skills, and the Neshannock third-grader-to-be concedes that she wants not only to play the game but to master it, even setting her sights on the WNBA. However, she doesn’t intend to allow the spotlight to remain solely on her.

“Whenever we dribble or do layups, we pray before or after,” said Camdyn. “We pray that he would use my gift to serve God.

“Whenever you’re good at basketball or you’re an athlete, sometimes people pay attention to you. And then you can talk about God and they’ll listen to you.”



Camdyn, who names Tim Tebow as a role model, isn’t the only one in her family embracing life experience as an opportunity to share faith.

Her mother, Molly, has written a book about her battle with Stage 3 colon cancer while pregnant with Camdyn (she’s now 7 1/2 years cancer free), while her father Craig, a former youth pastor, has started an in-home church he believes will be the first in a local network of such congregations.

Still, while Camdyn may have inherited her faith from her parents, her basketball skills are strictly first generation. Mom never played the game, and Dad gave it up in junior high.

“I had this little ball,” Camdyn recalls of her preschool years. “It’s not really a basketball, and there was a laundry basket, and I started putting the ball in the laundry basket, and I was like, ‘I got 100!’ ”

That excitement progressed to the point where she was dribbling by age three, and doing two balls at once by kindergarten. With the help of her father, she started out practicing 15 minutes a day, a session that now has grown to at least 30 minutes. Father and daughter also head up to the Y Zone at least one day a week to work on both left-hand and right-hand layups.

“We do them like crazy,” Craig Cole said.  “She’s done like a million layups this year. At the end of each month we do a test. We shoot 50 from the right, 50 from the left and we’ll see what her percentage is.”

There are also theme days and weeks, such as Tough Stuff Day or Two Ball Week — and then there’s Tough Tuesday.

“Except it’s not always Tuesday,” Camdyn said of a day that whenever it should happen to occur includes sit-ups, abs exercises and a one-minute session to do 25 steps up and steps down with a chair.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

House Ads

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results