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Camille Zimmerman ’18 Enjoys WNBA Tryout

by catherine elvy, staff writer

Camille Zimmerman recently experienced a taste of basketball stardom when the Columbia University forward participated in pre-season training camp with the Minnesota Lynx, the reigning champions of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

“I was lucky even to get an invite,” Zimmerman said.

 Though the Lynx, a team with a deep roster of very talented players, waived Zimmerman in the twilight of training camp, Columbia’s sensation described her stint in pre-season as “a really cool experience.”

When Zimmerman signed on with the Lynx as an unrestricted free agent on April 17, she kept an even perspective.

“For me, basketball is a way to glorify God,” said Zimmerman, who participated in Christian Union’s ministry at Columbia as an assistant leader in a Bible course catering to female basketball players. 

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Since 2016, Christian Union ministry fellows have also offered pregame devotionals to women on Columbia’s basketball team before home games. In turn, team participation in Bible courses spiked, in part, as a reflection of Zimmerman’s influence on her peers.

The 6-foot, 1-inch forward finished her basketball career fourth in all-time Ivy League scoring with 1,973 points. In her senior season, she averaged 19.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. The four-year starter left Columbia as its all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, and games played. As well, Zimmerman was the second player in program history to earn multiple All-Ivy First Team honors.

Upon graduation, Zimmerman stressed her desire for her fellow Lions to stay strong in their faith and involvement in Christian Union at Columbia. Click to Tweet

“I want to make sure it’s something that continues,” Zimmerman said.

As for her basketball career, Zimmerman remains optimistic about her prospects for heading abroad soon with a professional contract.

In reflecting upon recent ups and downs, Zimmerman expressed profound gratitude for the invite to a WNBA camp, a monumental achievement and one that provided immense experience.  

At Columbia, Zimmerman’s talent and relentless work ethic earned her celebrity status on campus. Despite phenomenal athleticism, however, Christian Union Ministry Fellow Ava Ligh noted Zimmerman most stood out during her Columbia tenure for her vibrant faith testimony. 

Teammates often attended Bible courses and participated in pregame devotionals because of Zimmerman’s remarkable social capital. “They came because they respected her and trusted her implicitly,” said Ligh, Columbia ’99.

 Zimmerman’s talents, coupled with her character, scored tangible admiration on the court and campus. “People just listened. She is kind, gentle, and funny,” said Ligh. “It’s hard not to love Camille.”

More importantly, Zimmerman wholeheartedly desired to see her Columbia teammates become disciples of Christ. “She really understood the importance of showing grace, meeting people where they are, and accepting people where they are,” said Ligh.

As Zimmerman looks ahead to a likely stint abroad for more basketball action, Ligh remains a huge fan. “Camille can do anything well that she puts her mind to,” said Ligh.

Columbia Coach Megan Griffith ’07 expressed similar sentiments. Zimmerman’s “love for the game will continue to take her [far],” she said.For Zimmerman, basketball success simply leads to higher victories, ones that provide opportunities to reflect the immeasurable radiance of her Lord and Savior.

“For me, doing really well is glorifying God,” she said.