He is only going to be a sophomore, so Williams isn't quite there yet. But he has the tools – athleticism, skills and smarts – to develop into a high-major college player.
Not only have west coast scouts noticed, but so have many college coaches across the nation. Coaches from UCLA, Florida, Arizona, USC, Arizona State, Georgetown and other schools have been out to watch him play in the Under-16 division of the Main Event in Las Vegas this week. While many of those coaches came to watch his teammate, 6-6 junior wing Hollis Thompson from Los Angeles Loyola, primarily, they were also there to see Williams.
"I know the coaches were there to watch Hollis first," Williams said. "But some of the coaches told me they were coming to see me, too."
Williams said he's taking the attention in stride, even though just a couple of years ago getting this kind of attention might have been just a dream.
"I used to be short," Williams said. "I was pretty small, always the small guy on my team. But then I hit a growth spurt a couple of years ago. Until then I was just another little guy. My parents at 6-2 and 5-10. My mom had D-1 offers in volleyball."
Quickly becoming a "big" guy in the 2010 class in the west, Williams told us that he's already formulated a short list of favorite schools. "It's Duke, Arizona, UCLA and Florida," Williams said. "Those are my four favorites right now, but I'm open to any school that shows interest in me."
Williams even said that Florida and Arizona have extended scholarship offers to him.
In terms of those four, Williams said he grew up a fan of one of them. He said, "It was Duke all the way when I was a kid. I loved Duke."
So, it was particularly exciting for Williams when he actually spoke with the Duke coaching staff. "They called my coach and then I called them back," Williams said. "I spoke with Coach (Steve) Wojciechowski, and that was really cool."
Interestingly enough, he spoke with the Duke staff while he was at the UCLA camp earlier in July. "That's when they called and when my coach had me call them," Williams said.
He's, obviously, been to UCLA's campus, and to Florida's. Williams said, "Florida's campus was really nice. UCLA's campus was beautiful. That was the first one I've seen and it was good to start off with one so beautiful."
He'll get a chance to check out Arizona's campus when he attends their basketball camp in August.
As of right now, Williams said he doesn't have one favorite among his four. He did say, however, that his parents have some preferences in his recruitment. "If a school was on the east coast, that'd be fine with me. But my parents, they want me to stay local. I'm being convinced by them to stay close to home, and I can see it, to be able to play in front of your family. They'd love for me to go to UCLA, rather than Duke or Florida, where they wouldn't get to see me much."
Williams commented about the benefits of UCLA for him: "It's close to home, it's a great education, and the program is really a power. They've been to two Final Fours and a championship game in two years. Coach (Ben) Howland is a good coach and a good guy. I spent some time with him at the UCLA camp. I actually stayed after the camp for a while to talk with him."
Academics, indeed, are important in the Williams family. "In my house," Williams said, "If I didn't have good grades I wouldn't be playing basketball." He currently has a 3.67 GPA and is enrolled in honors classes.
It's clear that he and Thompson get along very well, and share some of the same schools on their respective list of favorites. But Williams talked down any possibility that where Thompson goes would influence his decision. He said, "I can't say it would influence me. I think Hollis is a great player and we get along really well. But we only met about a year ago. I think I'll probably make up my own mind on that decision, along with my family."