"It was a lot of fun just seeing the rest of the guys enjoy winning basketball games," Williams stated on his way back from Charlottesville, Virginia where the tournament was held. "Last year we had a tough AAU season, and this year we already have more wins than we had all of last year. We've got two championships, and it's a great feeling to be playing this well and winning games."
This spring, the CP3 All-Stars have been one of the top AAU teams. After winning a Charlie Weber event in April, the squad reached the semifinals of the King James Shooting Stars Tournament before winning the Southern Invitational. Joining Williams on the roster is 2010 standouts Reggie Bullock and Tashawn Mabry. Bullock, who is committed to North Carolina, and Williams already talk about playing against each other in the future.
"It's great playing with guys like Reggie Bullock and Tashawn Mabry," said Williams. "Me and Reggie talk all the time about playing against each other in college. He talks about how I'm going to have to guard Wayne Ellington and all those type of guys that are at [North] Carolina. I just joke back with him... saying stuff like somebody is going to have to guard me too. We really do get along though and there's no hostility between us. It's just going to be a friendly little rivalry when we both are in college."
"It's just going to be a friendly little rivalry."
At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, Williams is one of the tallest players on the CP3 roster. Because of this, he often has to play the post.
"We just picked up Javon Mitchell from Greensboro Day who is about 6'9 so he's our main post player, but I'm often playing the four or five for us," said Williams. "We run some flex offense and four-out, one-in so it's not like I'm stuck in the post. The coaches tell me that when I get a rebound to push it myself and get out in transition and that's what I do."
As a senior, Williams played some point guard for Fayetteville (NC) Jack Britt as he averaged 15.7 points, seven rebounds, and 3.5 assists in leading his team to the 4A East Regional Finals. He also chipped in 61 blocks for the Bucs.
He finished his career at Jack Britt with 1,488 points, 648 rebounds, 195 blocks, 182 steals, 236 assists, 107-of-300 3-pointers (36%), 263-of-366 free throws (72%), and 559-of-1097 field goals (51%). Williams is the all-time leader in Jack Britt High School history in points, rebounds, and blocks and he is near the top in steals and assists.
He's already signed with NC State and could be hanging out at home each weekend but he's using this time to continue working on his game and improving his conditioning.
"When I saw [NC State assistant] coach Harris at the LeBron tournament he said that he noticed my conditioning was improving," Williams stated. "My AAU coach likes us to run the floor a lot so I'm running full speed all of the time and that helps me get in even better shape. I'm out here getting a good workout, but it's in competitive environment."
For the CP3 All-Stars, Williams is looking to make his mark on the defensive end of the floor. Each game he hunts out the opposing team's best player, aiming to lock him up. His biggest challenge in the Southern Invitational came in the quarterfinals against Playaz Basketball Club wing Dominic Cheek. Rated the No. 2 shooting guard in the 2009 class, Cheek is an explosive talent capable of lighting up the scoreboard. In the 69-59 win over the Playaz Basketball Club, Williams tallied 15 points (6-of-11 shooting), five rebounds, and four assists while holding Cheek to 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting from the floor and 2-of-10 from behind the 3-point line, including a huge block of a Cheek 3-point attempt down the stretch.
|"I want to bring that to NC State next year."|
"Really, I'm trying to work on my defensive ability because I want to bring that to NC State next year," Williams stated. "I'm out there trying to guard the best player for the other team, and I had a good defense game against [Cheek].
"I just wanted to force him to take difficult shots because he is a dynamic player. He's really determined to get to the basket or shoot it from deep and it's hard slowing him down but I think I did a good job on him and we got the win."
Williams averaged 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists in championship bracket play as CP3 defeated the Playaz Basketball Club and the Virginia Raptors to reach the finals where they routed National Christian Academy 70-50.
Because he is on a workout program structured to have him physically ready to go once he enrolls at NC State, Williams will likely play in just one more tournament on the AAU circuit. That event will be the 2008 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, held Memorial Day weekend in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
"That's going to be great playing in that tournament," said Williams. "I played in it a couple of years ago with the Raptors, and we ended up winning the title. I want to get that feeling back. It's going to be great playing in the local area."
With a 4.2 GPA and a qualifying test score, Williams is fully qualified and he will be enrolling at NC State for the second summer session.