There's no doubt that Duncanville (Texas) High junior and former Pine Bluff native Shawn Williams is going to be one of the most watched and followed players at the fourth annual Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville this weekend.
After all, Williams (6-6, 190) is one of the nation's top 2009 prospects, someone that the University of Arkansas fans will follow because the Razorbacks covet him and then there is a big group of family and friends.
"My dad – Shawn's grandpa – lives in Pine Bluff and he's making the trip to Fayetteville this weekend with a couple of uncles and aunts and some other family," notes Shawn Williams II, the player's dad and AAU coach. "He's going to load it up this weekend and he is excited about following Shawn around these next few years."
Williams, who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds this season for a 36-2 Duncanville team, will play for Texas Select and will no doubt see plenty of UA head coach John Pelphrey this weekend.
That squad will get pool play underway Friday night at 7:50 against the Illinois Bobcats in the UA's HPER Building.
Texas Select will then play a pair of games inside Bud Walton Arena on Saturday against Spiece Indy Heat at 9:10 a.m. and Tennessee Heat at 12:40 p.m.
"Shawn grew up a Razorback fan and loves playing in Bud Walton Arena," the elder Williams said. "I use to take him to football games in Little Rock and basketball games and I think he was watching them on TV sitting around in his diapers when he was just a little guy."
Arkansas joins Texas at the top of list for Williams, rated as the fifth-best small forward and the 40th best player overall nationally by Scout.com.
"Both of those teams have done an excellent job of recruiting Shawn and are still very much a part of the equation," Williams said.
That pair joins Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, UCLA and Baylor still being considering.
"We came up to Fayetteville last August for an unofficial visit and really enjoyed getting to meet Coach Pelphrey and his assistants," Williams said. "Coach Pelphrey comes across as a real genuine person and the type of coach I can definitely see my son playing for."
Williams, whose high school team went 36-0 in 2006-2007 and lost its two games this season by a total of three points, is also a star in the classroom.
"His mom is a principal and we have always been real clear about excelling in the classroom and not just on the court," Williams said. "We want him to go somewhere he can get a great education. If he can do that and also score 20 or 30 points and help get a team to the NCAA Championship, well, we'd enjoy that too, but we stress education and the future with him and he gets it."
Williams will play on an AAU team that also includes Dallas Carter point guard Jarvis Phillips and 6-8 Duncanville sophomore wing Jeremiah Washburn, the son of former NBA player Chris Washburn.
Texas Select will also feature a pair of top Oklahoma prospects in Oklahoma City's Terry Criswell and 6-10 Lawton junior Will Winke and shooting guard Nick Foreman.
"We been practicing on the weekends for a couple of weeks now," Williams said. "We played a tune-up tournament down in Dallas and did very well. I think we will definitely make it to Sunday and bracket play at the Real Deal, which always has some really good teams."
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