One-on-One with Kenny Williams

After sending in his Letter of Intent to UNC on Wednesday, Kenny Williams went in-depth with Inside Carolina about how he became a Tar Heel.

What’s the last month been like for you?
It’s been really hectic, trying to get visits in and schedule all that stuff with a short amount of time to get it done. It feels great to have it all finished and done with.

When did you realize you might not end up at VCU?
It didn’t really start crossing my mind until I actually heard people start talking about Coach (Shaka) Smart leaving. I was telling people that I didn’t think he was going to leave so I wasn’t too up to (date) with everything.

How did North Carolina get back involved?
Once they heard I had gotten my release, that’s when Coach (Roy) Williams called. They were basically saying they were going to try to recruit me again and it’s a second chance for them, and a second chance for me to see more of what they had to offer. Me and Coach Williams have a pretty good relationship foundation and it’s only going to get better from here.

What did you do on your official visit to Chapel Hill?
My first night I went to play with the players and played pickup, that was great. I really felt like I could fit in with them. I shot the ball really well in pickup and they fed me where I needed it and when I needed it. It just felt natural. Then we just hung out for a little bit. The next day we took a tour of campus and then came home. Marcus Paige was my host, he’s a good guy. He didn’t try to force me into coming down there and committing there. I liked his personality; I think our personalities match a lot.

Did you know you were committing to UNC after the official visit?
I knew that it would be one of my top choices because it was a dream school growing up. I knew I was going to consider it either way.

Did you take an official visit to UVa?
Yes, I did.

What did you do during that UVa trip?
It was a pretty good visit. I basically did the same thing I did at Carolina. We had a couple of meetings, played a little with the players, hung out with them and then went to a movie.

Why did you pick North Carolina?
It was just the tradition of playing in Carolina blue and having that name across your chest. They have a winning tradition and I want to keep that moving forward. I actually signed my Letter of Intent this morning.

Who helped you make your decision?
It was me, my mom, my dad and my high school coach. They just said if I felt comfortable with what I was doing and the decision I was going to make, they would back me up 100 percent.

What was Coach Williams’s response when you called to commit?
He was very happy.

Did you consider the looming NCAA investigation at Carolina before deciding?
I committed because I wanted to be a Tar Heel. I’m not worried about those other things going on in the background.

Give us a self-evaluation. What is Kenny Williams like on the court?
I think I do the little things that a coach would call winning plays – taking a charge, diving on the floor for a loose ball and that kind of stuff. I feel like I do all those things without a coach having to get on me and tell me to do it. I think I’m a good teammate. If I’m playing bad and not having a good game, I’m not going to have my head slouching. I always try to be a positive and upbeat teammate. And I’m not just a shooter. I can put it on the floor, get to the rim and shoot the mid-range if I want to.

What are you looking forward to most about being a basketball player at Carolina?
Playing in the Dean Dome, I think. I’ll get to have the North Carolina on my chest and be part of the legacy, tradition and family the school has.

You grew up a Carolina fan and said it’s your dream school. What childhood memories of Carolina do you have?
I can remember the 2009 championship team, that’s when I became a die-hard fan. Wayne Ellington is one of the guys I really liked on that team. My first interest in them was when I saw highlights of Michael Jordan and saw him playing with North Carolina, and of course him hitting the shot in the national championship game. From there on, I said “I’m going to root for this school because the best basketball player ever went there.”

What number do you want to wear?
No. 24 – it’s what I always wore. I just couldn’t in high school because it’s one of the numbers we didn’t have. Kobe Bryant was my favorite player, but it also has a deeper meaning that honors both of my parents.


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