Williams, who signed his Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play for the Cyclones beginning next fall, is back home in California. After one season at Iowa Western, Williams decided to undergo surgery on both shoulders and moved back home to take classes as he redshirts.
His shoulders — the right one was operated on in August and the left just last month — are feeling better these days. He started stationary shooting just recently, can play around February or March and should be ready to go full contact by April.
“Before I had the surgery, when I would shoot around, my shoulders would start hurting,” Williams said. “Now I’ve been shooting around and then feel fine. Or when I do other activities, they feel good and they feel more secure. Even when I rotate my arm and stuff they feel more secure.”
That’s perfect news for Iowa State, which will get a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 16.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season. He visited last season for the Kansas game and committed in April.
Williams, who will have three years of eligibility upon his arrival, will officially move to Ames in May or June for summer school. When he does, he’ll be on the lookout for some new eating places, and he’ll probably hear what he sometimes does now from friends.
“Ah, where should we go, because you’re a vegan?” he hears.
“I can find a salad anywhere,” Williams tells them.
Williams was once a vegetarian but made the decision in May to become vegan, cutting all animal byproducts from his diet. He eats Tofu and noodles — flour-based rather than egg-based, he says — among many different foods.
“Before I would eat chicken and stuff like that and I’d get all tired, but now when I eat the food that I eat, they go in and they go out,” Williams said. “I feel fine and I don’t get all tired. I feel good and refreshed.”
Sitting between 220 and 225 pounds since high school, Williams feels he’ll get closer to 235 and still be able to move well when he’s cleared to lift.
“I’ve always been a healthy person,” Williams said. “I used to be a vegetarian but then I just wanted to be healthy, so I looked up things and I saw the certain effects of putting animal products in your body. I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life, but I decided that I wanted to try to be as healthy as I could.”
He was on the lookout for places when he made his official visit in September, and tweeted out looking for suggestions. He has kept in contact with assistant Matt Abdelmassih as well as Fred Hoiberg, who he watched film with in September.
Soon, he'll join the team in Ames.
“Being in Ames for three years is really exciting,” Williams said. “I think we’ll be really successful, so I’m just looking forward to it.”