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National basketball champion visits Campbellsville University

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Christina L. Kern

Campbellsville University

Cameron Mills, a member of the University of Kentucky's 1998 national championship basketball team, spoke to various groups on the campus of Campbellsville University, including the men's and women's basketball teams, first-year students at FIRST CLASS and Crazy Love Bible study leaders, about being a leader with Christ.

Mills said shortly after he was saved at age 7, he received his first trophy, not for basketball but for swimming.

"All eyes were on me because of something awesome I did," Mills said, "and the trophy was proof."

It was at this point he decided life is about trophies.

"I could point to it and say 'see how awesome I am.'"

Growing up, Mills' esteem came from trophies, "but I needed one I could take with me-a championship ring."

After becoming a Kentucky Wildcat, winning national championships in 1996 and 1998, he had two championship rings, the latter of which he played a big part in winning. After receiving his 1998 championship ring, he wore it for two weeks straight.

"I won two national championships, but neither of them changed me," he said.

"These years [in college] you look forward to what's ahead and look to be fulfilled saying 'that's what I want out of life,'" he told the basketball teams. "If it's not Jesus then it doesn't matter. I wasted time fulfilling something that didn't matter."

In FIRST CLASS, the weekly chapel service for first-year students, Mills talked with students about having an opportunity to be a leader.

He told the story about the time he visited his high school coach after winning the national championship at UK. He wanted to show off his championship ring and show he was "the big man on campus four years too late," he said.

While visiting his coach in the gym, other students were learning square dancing, but there was one girl no one wanted to dance with, and all eyes were on her after her partner bolted from the room. "We want eyes on us with a trophy, but not in embarrassment," Mills said.

Mills said he had the opportunity to stand up for the girl and show the class of 70 sophomores what is right by being the girl's dancing partner, but he chose not to.

"I came to have eyes on me, but not because of square dancing, so I walked out. I had the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, but didn't," Mills said.

He recited the poem "Little Eyes Upon You" and said, "Someone is watching you; you're somebody's hero. It doesn't affect you, but someone wants to be you, and you have the chance to lead... little eyes are on you-where are you leading them?"

Mills also spoke to leaders of the Crazy Love Bible study, a group ministering to their various athletic teams, by hosting a Bible study.

He said many times leaders wonder if they are really making a difference.

"It's not your responsibility to change someone's life, it's the Holy Spirit's."

Mills said he once preached the greatest sermon of his life and nobody moved at invitation time, but he preached what he thought to be the worst sermon of his life and "there were more people at the altar than in the pews."

"Don't get discouraged. God will change lives when the time is right. It is his job to move in people's lives."

Mills also told the leaders to "humble yourself. There is no greater disease than arrogance." Mills said to "show others your weaknesses as much as your strengths."