By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Name: Stephen Williams
School: Kenwood Academy
Varsity Team: Boys Basketball
Height: 5’ 11”
Jersey No.: 11
Weight: 165 pounds
Position: Point Guard
The Hyde Park Herald High School Basketball Player of The Week is Kenwood Academy’s Stephen Williams. A transfer from St. Ignasius High School in 2012, Williams is beginning his junior season as the starting point guard for the Broncos. Williams believes his most memorable moment of his basketball career came against former NFL hopeful and Thornton Wildcats basketball star Tai Streets and his Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball team “Mean Streets,” where he scored a career high 52 points as a AAU recruit in the summer of 2010. Known for his amazing dribbling ability and a heavy knack for scoring, Williams has displayed strong leadership attributes off the floor as he encouraged his teammates this past off-season to participate in summer voluntary workouts to prepare for the 2013-2014 season, according to his head coach, Jim Maley. Stephen’s favorite college basketball player is Shane Larkin, formerly of the University of Miami and the son of baseball Hall of Famer and Cincinatti Reds short-stop Barry Larkin.
HP: How excited are you about this upcoming season?
SW: I’m very excited. I think our team has a really good chance at making a run at the IHSA state title. We beat some good teams during the IHSA Fall Basketball League. We put a lot of work in this off-season and I expect the results to pay off.
HP: What are some of the goals you set as an individual for this year’s team?
SW: I expect us to go undefeated during conference play and advance to the final four of the state playoffs .
HP: What is your favorite food?
SW: I prefer either fried or baked chicken.
HP: What is your favorite TV Show?
SW: “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” That’s what I grew-up watching as a child and I’ve been hooked ever since.
HP: If you can compare last years team off-season to this year’s team off-season, do you believe you guys have improved?
SW: We have improved a lot. I see a lot of guys stepping up this year, such as senior Joel Davis, who’s our team captain. We also have guys who worked really hard in the off-season to improve their defense and scoring ability, which will have a huge impact on our play come start of regular season.
HP: Do you currently have any scholarship offers?
SW: Yes. I currently have offers from Chicago State University [and] interest from Butler University, Loyola University and Creighton University.
HP: Do you play any other sport other than basketball?
SW: No, but I do like watching soccer. I appreciate the work and conditioning that each player puts into [the] craft.
HP: What would you like to accomplish as a player for the 2013-2014 IHSA basketball season?
SW: Individually I would like to average a double-double in points and assist, (28 points and 12 assists per game). As a team, I want our team to lead the league in steals, because we have a good defensive press. In addition to that, a trip to the Final Four.