Williams recovering from torn ACL
One of the most intriguing prospects out west in 2015 is 6-foot-2, 160-pound Santa Monica (Calif.) shooting guard New Williams. An elite level athlete, Williams is an explosive guard that can score well above the rim and finish with contact, while also a capable shooter. The lefty can knock down three-pointers or score with his pull-up jumper. While Williams' big time athleticism gives him a lot of upside, he's had a lot of bad luck with injuries. He broke his wrist nine games into his sophomore season and then tore his ACL the first game of his junior season. On March 21, Williams underwent surgery to repair his ACL and the recovery process has been impressive since. "His doctor, Chris Powers, tells us he's ahead of schedule and he's a world leader in ACL recovery," said New's father, Zo Williams. "He does NBA players and Olympians. "In a couple weeks he'll be ready for running. This whole summer is dedicated to rehab and sharpening his skills. He's working on dribbling and shooting but he won't play AAU." Williams has gained at least one fan during the rehab process. "Last Wednesday, Jason Terry was at the facility where they work with New. Jason was watching how hard New was working and went to get his cell phone to start filming," Zo said. "After the workout he started asking New how old he was and where he goes to school. He told New he's going to make it; he could tell by his work ethic." Even though he can't compete right now, Williams remains as motivated as ever. "He wants to show people rankings are a lie," Zo said. "He said that he feels disrespected. He sees how far he's fallen in the rankings and says, ‘I'm going to make everyone eat their words.' "I can't imagine going through what he's had to endure but with every setback he seems to be that much more focused and motivated to realize his dream." The plan is for Williams to be back on the court in the fall. "We're looking at around August, September or October," Zo said. "We think he'll really feel like himself in October and by December, he'll be stronger than he was before the injury." Despite the injury, there are still schools that haven't ceased their recruitment of Williams. "In my opinion, the number one school showing the most enthusiasm – it's a close one and two – but it's been Pepperdine and Arizona State," said Zo. "John Impelman from Pepperdine sends a hand written letter once a week detailing the process of recovery and that says a lot. Coach Herb Sendek has come to our house with his coaching staff to meet myself and New's mother and that also says a lot. "Stacey Augmon of UNLV called me and said, ‘We're going to show you how down we are with New Williams; we are going to offer him a scholarship while he's down.' "UTEP is in there and Auburn said they wouldn't offer a scholarship unless we guarantee them an official so we agreed to that. New Mexico and Tulsa stepped in also. Those are the schools that have offered since he's had a torn ACL." Williams has scheduled an official visit to Auburn on Aug. 30 and is working on dates for the four other trips before he makes a decision, likely in the fall. "I'm urging him to sign early," said Zo. "I'm saying go ahead and get it out of the way. That's my hope." The schools currently on Williams' list should have an advantage when it's time to make a decision. "We take a lot of the value in the schools recruiting him now," Zo said. "The fact they know he got hurt but aren't worried about it. Those schools we are really favoring because they haven't wavered. That's where our mindset is right now."
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