Last pg 1 5-14-20

Last player
commits to
Div. I college
Johnnie Williams IV was the last Putnam Science Academy prep basketball player to commit to a Division I college for the fall. But he is certainly not the least.
Not after all he has been through — including the tragic death of his father when Williams was just 8, the splitting up of his family just before the start of his senior year of high school in Sarasota, Fla., and the stretch of nights where he had nowhere to live.
Not after serving essentially as a practice player for the Mustangs’ first 30 games or so of the season before forcing his way into the rotation and then eventually the starting lineup and averaging 9.9 points per game over the last 11 games (second-best on the team), including a four-game stretch when he scored 19, 14, 17, and 16 points.
Williams announced May 5 that he will attend the University of Louisiana-Monroe, thus becoming the 10th PSA player from this year’s team to commit to a Division I program.
A 6-foot, 6-inch shooting guard, Williams said he chose ULM because “their style fits great with my game. I’m looking forward to the competition. I feel excited and very blessed to have the opportunity to play high-level basketball.”
Williams admits that the season wasn’t easy for him but he never doubted a scholarship to a Division I school was out of reach.
“Since the beginning I had enough faith in myself and carried a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I never lost faith in myself and never stopped praying to God.”
Williams, a terrific shooter and a high-energy defender, could certainly make an immediate impact, and should have the chance to do so. The Warhawks struggled this past season, their 9-20 mark including a 5-15 finish in the Sun Belt Conference.
“I think Louisiana-Monroe is going to love this kid from the minute he walks on campus,” said PSA coach Tom Espinosa. “I said it before and I’ll say it again…I’ve never coached a kid like Johnnie Williams before. Every other kid would have shut it down if they were in his position. But to his credit, Johnnie kept coming to practice and worked his tail off, and when we called on him, he was ready. He was huge for us.
“I’ve never had a kid not have a role on the team for 25, 30 games, whatever it was, and then all of a sudden do what he did for us. It’s a testament to the type of person Johnnie Williams is.”
When Williams got to PSA, he was grateful for the bed to sleep in and the three meals that were prepared for him every day. And he was of course grateful for the chance to keep playing basketball.
“PSA has helped me not only on the court but off it,” he said. “I became not only a better player but a better student and a better man in life. I thank PSA dearly with all my heart and PSA will always have a place in my heart.”
Williams joins Hassan Diarra (Texas A&M), Mekhi Gray (NJIT), Julian Dozier Jr. (Fordham), Vlad Goldin (Texas Tech), Marty Silvera (St. Peter’s), Terrell Ard. Jr. (Alabama-Birmingham), D’Maurian Williams (Gardner-Webb University), Josh Gray (Louisiana State University), and Melvyn Ebonkoli (Missouri State) as other Division I commits from this season’s PSA team.
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


RocketTheme Joomla Templates