Courtesy: Barron Demons
A player certainly has talent if they are invited to the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Pensacola State sophomore guard Gerald Williams has the size and athleticism to be a dynamic player at whatever level he plays.
I witnessed Williams at one of the home games against Gulf Coast last year do a windmill dunk during warm-ups just before the game started. I mentioned to him that I shook my head because of how easy he made it seem.
He smiled and said "yeah" as if it was nothing to him.
Being from New York, one of the most passionate states when it comes to basketball, the 6'4 New York native was recruited by BIG 10 schools: Minnesota, Iowa, and even had an offer from Penn State. However, the talented big man hopes to improve his play at Pensacola State College.
The game of basketball came a bit different for Williams. Baseball was the first sport Williams played before transitioning to basketball.
"When I was in 8th grade, going into my 9th grade year, people told me I should consider playing basketball because of my size," Williams said.
He started playing summer ball, which is well-known as AAU, the summer going into his junior year. It was then he realized basketball was the sport for him. He started to realize his skills and passion for the game were important. He started all four years throughout his high school career. As a result, George Westinghouse High School reached the final four in 2016 for his senior year.
"Yes, I had received offers from bigger schools, but I decided to come to Pensacola State College because I wanted to play right away as well as to improve my game. My goal is to become a smarter player," he said.
Head Coach Pete Pena was also very enthusiastic about his player.
"He is a great kid, a great competitor, and he fits into our program well," he said. Pena responded with an emphatic absolutely when answering if Williams was a coachable player.
During his freshman season, Williams played in 22 games and averaged 7.5 points per game.
The talented guard hopes to transfer to a Division One school to continue his playing career after this season.
To read a full version of this story pick up the October issue of The Corsair.