Williams Makes it Official

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A childhood dream officially became reality for Fayetteville Jack Britt basketball star C.J. Williams on Wednesday afternoon.

A childhood dream officially became reality for Fayetteville Jack Britt basketball star C.J. Williams on Wednesday afternoon.

Williams signed with N.C. State in a ceremony at his high school, remaining faithful to a verbal commitment he had given the Wolfpack early in a junior season with the Buccaneers in which he averaged 24.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.

In contrast to Britt's purple and gold, red was the color du jour as Williams' parents' Wendell and Delores were adorned in State garb, along with his sister, Tierra. Williams wore a dark suit accented by a red tie. Family is important to the 6-foot-4, 200-pound leaper who was recently featured in The Fayetteville Observer for his awesome dunking ability.

"I love the Wolfpack," Williams said. "They just made me feel like family. There was no other university for me."

Clemson and Virginia Tech were among ACC programs making offers but Williams stuck by his original commitment. Other programs backed off as Williams indicated he was firm in his choice of the Wolfpack. Coach Sidney Lowe and staff weren't deterred as Williams experienced some back and hip ailments during and after his junior season.

The signing ceremony was a fitting piece to a timeline that began when Williams was much younger -- and smaller. His family displayed photos taken a decade ago with Williams posing beside some NCAA championship hardware in a trophy case at Reynolds Coliseum.

For Williams, the waiting was finally over.

"I had trouble sleeping last night," he confided. "It seemed like this day would never get here."

Williams is a solid student academically with a head for the game at which he excels. That's according to Fayetteville basketball coaching legacy Ike Walker, Jr., who also guided former Pack standout Marcus Melvin while working previously at Douglas Byrd High in Fayetteville.

Walker, the son of Fayetteville E.E. Smith coaching legend Ike Walker, also helped develop current East Carolina sophomore forward John Fields at Britt.

With his college plans firm, Williams can focus on his final season on the high school level -- and it could be a special one.

"His supporting cast has gotten a lot better," Walker, Jr., said.

Williams may not have to score at the same rate in order for the Buccaneers to challenge for the Mid-Southeastern 4-A Conference title and beyond.

"We're going to be counting on C.J. to do a lot of things for us," said his prep coach.

Williams scored more than 30 points five times last season on his way to league player of the year recognition. He wasn't bashful about expressing Britt's potential.

"I'm expecting a state championship," he said. "Some guys might say that is too confident, but I know the potential we have as a group."

Williams wants to be a part of State championships on the college level as well.

Williams projects at a two or three position for the Pack. His quickness and jumping ability will allow him defensive flexibility in terms of matchups. His athleticism will give Coach Lowe a potentially-versatile performer with the capability of assuming a number of roles.

NOTE: Following his press conference, Williams helped lead Jack Britt past E.E. Smith 64-44 in the season opener for the Bucs.

He totaled 10 points, six rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and two steals.

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