Williams Turns Attention to AAU Circuit

After starting the season hot, Fayetteville (NC) Jack Britt faltered down the stretch and the Bucs lost by one point in the opening round of the state playoffs to Roxboro (NC) Person.

"With it being the third year in a row that we were knocked out in the first round, it hurt pretty bad," C.J. Williams said about the state playoff loss. "After the game I was hurt, and for some reason I felt like I wanted to cry, but I couldn't. I knew I did my best, and my dad always tells me that if you do your best you can't be disappointed with the outcome."

Despite the loss, Britt remains in great shape. The Bucs return their two top players and should receive a boost from the development of rising junior center Xavier Nixon. Expectations remain high at Jack Britt as the Bucs are expected to be preseason favorites to win the Mid Southeastern Conference.

"I feel great about next season," said Williams. "We've got a lot of guys that played a decent amount this year. We've got our top two scorers coming back in myself and Cornelius Snow. We have a good point guard in Mike Mathis coming up and a great big man in Xavier Nixon.

"He doesn't try to do too much, and he knows what he can do. He's got a great love for the game, almost as big as mine. It's important when you play basketball to have that passion."

Williams, who committed to NC State last November over offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech, and East Carolina among others, will now turn his attention to AAU basketball. He considered playing for the Charlotte Royals and a team based out of Wilmington that is sponsored by former NC State standout Cedric Simmons, but it looks like Williams will travel with Chris Paul's CP3 All-Stars on the Nike circuit.

"With CP3 All-Stars, it's one of those things with where they are going," Williams said. "I love playing basketball, but I want some time for myself, so I wanted to play for a team where I can go to the best tournaments but also have some weekends where I can be home with my family.

That will be great for me so I can get in some good work before I go to State."
"When I worked out with them, I watched some of the other guys that were around, and they seemed like a good group of guys. The guys seemed nice and genuine, and they looked like they could play."

Williams is excited to show what he can do this spring and summer. At 6-foot-5, he is one of the tallest players on the Jack Britt roster, and head coach Ike Walker uses Williams around the basket where he has a knack for scoring. With the CP3 All-Stars, Williams will be able to play small forward, his natural position, and even some shooting guard where he can expand on his perimeter skills.

"Towards the end of this year my coach started putting me out on the perimeter more, so I started to get some work at the position I'll be playing at State," he said. "I just wanted to go out there and help us win the best we can, but with AAU I'll be playing on the perimeter. That will be great for me so I can get in some good work before I go to State."

Williams averaged 24.2 points, 9.5 boards, and 3.6 blocks as he led Britt to a 18-9 record. He scored double figure in all 27 games, scored 20+ in 22 games, and five times he scored over 30 points.

The 2006 Mid Southeastern Conference Player of the Year was also named first-team All-Conference for the second straight year while being tabbed second-team all-state.

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