If you’ve ever been to a BYU basketball game at home, you may have seen the BYU Dunk Team in action. The team’s eye-catching stunts have become a crowd favorite during basketball halftime shows.
The team looks a little different this year. That’s because flying high with the team this year is its first-ever female member, Camdyn Roberts.
Roberts joined the team this year to help improve the reach of the Cougar Strong Program, which takes the dunk team to elementary schools around the state where the team performs with hopes of inspiring young students to improve themselves socially, physically and mentally. The program was created by dunk team coach Dave Eberhard.
Roberts, a former pole vaulter, first came into contact with the BYU Dunk Team when Eberhard was searching for prospective team members.
“When I stopped doing track, Dave contacted my old pole vault coach,” Roberts said. “Dunking, pole vault, gymnastics, diving — all that kind of stuff is really closely related.”
Although Roberts has not been on the team for very long, she has already made an impact on her teammates. Senior and four-year dunk team member Zak Potts said his new teammate’s intrinsic motivation and ability to improve quickly has helped to pave the way for future team members.
“She’s picked it up really quickly, and she’s super motivated,” Potts said. “Not only has she come a long way herself, but she’s encouraged other girls to come and try out, which I think is pretty cool. I think it will help to expand the program to include more people and get more people involved.”
Roberts said Eberhard originally brought her on the team as a way of giving young girls the team meets a role model to look up to within the formerly all-male team.
Eberhard said Roberts greatly inspired many of the young girls who attended a recent performance.
“They were so excited that she was there,” Erberhard said. “Those little girls were just super excited and like, ‘Hey, we can be anything that we want to be.’”
Speaking about the same performance, Roberts said she was able to see the impact her appearance made on the girls. She had the opportunity to talk with a teacher and some of the girls after the performance. The teacher asked the girls about their favorite part of the performance.
“This little girl points to me and she says, ‘You can do everything that the boys can do,'” Roberts said.