In The Locker Room with Dre Campbell, Basketball Captain and Vlogger


Photo Courtesy of OC Athletics

College fourth-year Dre Campbell goes up against a defender on the way to the basket.

College fourth-year and varsity basketball player Andre “Dre” Campbell can be spotted traversing far stretches of campus, from the basketball court where he holds the position of team captain all the way to the art building. One unexpected place where the Sociology major and Studio Art minor can be found is on YouTube. Campbell has uploaded 28 vlogs to his channel, Fashodre, detailing his daily life and varsity basketball career at Oberlin. Born and raised in San Francisco, Campbell is looking forward to the remainder of the basketball season and staying out of the Ohio frost.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What does being named a team captain mean to you?

It’s the label of a leader of the team, and that means that you’re a representation of men’s basketball at Oberlin. When you’re in that role, you set the example. It’s your responsibility to know the plays and help the other players navigate college basketball, because it’s so much different from playing in high school. So it’s not only setting the example of what it is to be a good basketball player and representing Oberlin, but it’s also being a figure that someone looks up to.

Have you had mentors that have taught you about leadership?

My first year, there were a lot of seniors, and each offered different types of advice. So whenever I had trouble, I always had people to turn to, which was pretty cool. And that’s one thing that I also wanted to be able to do — channel the energy that they provided for me and be someone that you’d reach out to about everything.

How have you felt about the season’s so far?

I’m so pumped. It’s awesome to be 6–2 right now. To have a whole shifting winning program right now, it’s pretty awesome, especially my senior year. I’m not looking back at anything so far in disappointment; I’m always looking forward and excited because this is my last year playing basketball in college. I’m trying to absorb all that I can and have a good time. I’m always smiling during practice and goofing off a little bit to keep the energy up of the guys and remind them that we’re volunteering our time because we all want to play this sport.

How does it feel to be a fourth-year?

Oh, I feel old. It’s cool to be a fourth- year because I’ve been on this campus for [what feels like forever] — I almost want to label myself as a native of Oberlin. It’s bittersweet, though, because I understand that I only have a few months left of sitting in a classroom and absorbing as much knowledge as I can from the fantastic professors at this school. The level of engagement and critical thinking skills [required] in a classroom setting is fantastic. Oberlin pushes you to think more critically and doesn’t sugarcoat the facts. So it is a little bittersweet, but also it’s my time. When I see young first-years, I remember those days and realize that it’s my time to walk through the arches and move on.

How have these last four years been for you?

They’ve been up and down. I think that’s just because I’m far from home. I’m from California, so it’s just hard; I’ll never get used to snow. Oberlin is also very rigorous and requires a lot of work academically, so you always have to be on top of your game, and sometimes with basketball and other things, it’s easy to get distracted. But I just remind myself that I just have to get back up, so it’s been a good time.

What are your goals for this season?

I think for everybody on the team, it’s to win conference championships. We have to put it out there. We can’t be shy. We just have to say, “Hey, we want to win a conference championship,” and see where it goes from there.

How old were you when you began playing basketball?

I actually originally started out with soccer through my mom. When I was four or five, I had a huge growth spurt, so I was bigger than everyone else. I was the biggest five-year-old you’ve ever seen. So I’m doing soccer, and obviously I think I’m the Messi of soccer and wanted to be the agile forward. But instead I was a goalie, and being a goalie — I was not having fun. Just standing in there, I wasn’t doing anything but knocking a few balls. So then I switched to basketball, starting at the Jewish Community Center, and I played there for a while. That’s where I found a love for basketball. It was easy for me—you just take a ball and put it in the hoop, and it helps when you’re tall. When I was younger, my dad would also take me to NBA games, and I remember thinking, “Wow, those guys are massive” and wanting to be there. It was an awesome experience, even though I wasn’t always paying attention to the game at the time. So I think that kind of just grew on me and made me really love basketball.

Then, in fifth grade, the JCC told my dad that I needed to leave because I was too good. And my dad didn’t know the ins and outs of where to go, so the JCC recommended travel basketball. I was so nervous in the first try-out I had because I didn’t know how to play defense, or know the terminology. The coach called me out and told me to sit, which means to get into a position where you’re defensive and can move well laterally. I literally sat on the court, and everyone laughed at me. And the coach was like, “No, not that, sit a defense.” So that was really embarrassing. But I have those tiny anecdotes, moments that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life, which I love. That’s what sports and clubs give me, even non-athletic ones.

How did you get into vlogging?

It took about three years of my best friends nagging me, and all these people I met in entertainment told me, “Dre, you have to do this. You have to vlog. You’re a funny guy, and you present yourself in a certain way in the world.” And I didn’t want to do it at first—I wanted to be private and have a good time. They kept pushing it. It wasn’t peer pressure, it was more encouragement, so I decided to try it out. I went on YouTube, looked at a bunch of vloggers to study them, and began to grasp the concepts of how to vlog. I made a “big boy purchase,” as they say, and got a camera which was expensive. Once I had that, I couldn’t back out.

I was nervous when I made the first few videos because I felt that I wasn’t qualified to vlog. But it’s an opportunity to express myself, and if it fails, it’s a learning experience. I love that my personality or what I say adds positivity to someone’s day. I’m all about positivity and making people’s day better. On top of that, it’s my fourth year in college, so I wanted to create almost a documentary of what’s going on now so I can look back on the memories later.

How does basketball come into your vlogs?

When I vlog, I usually try to incorporate a lot of “day in the life” stuff and sometimes goofy clips of friends, roommates, or myself. Basketball comes into my vlogs because it’s part of my life, I’m doing it all the time. So I was like, “Well, if I’m playing basketball and I’m also filming goofy clips, I might as well just put them together because that’s my authentic self.” I include the highlights and the process of game time, but I can’t film everything because I also have to get into the game zone. But I love putting basketball clips in my vlogs because I’ve been playing for 18 years.

Do you have any plans to continue playing basketball or vlogging?

Absolutely. I think I’m going to pursue the basketball dream a little longer and enjoy the opportunities. I would love to play pro overseas or wherever offers me something, and I’m not giving up yet. Even though my body’s like, “Okay, slow down, slow down.” And vlogging will always be there. I promised myself to do a hundred vlogs, which will turn into a sort of achievement that I can look back on in a couple of years. I’m also interested in putting a portfolio together of my artwork and potentially displaying it at The Feve. A lot of my friends are pushing me to do it, and I think that it would be a really cool opportunity.

Do you have anything else you want to add?

Click subscribe on Fashodre!