For the past four years, South Pike’s Justin Williams has shined on the hardwood wearing a green and white Eagles jersey. Now the 5-foot-11, 165-pound combo guard will get the chance to wear the same color jersey with the same mascot for the next two years after recently signing to play at Meridian Community College.
“I’m very happy and excited because it was a long process,” he said. “I went a long time without getting any offers or interest and I am just happy that they are giving me the chance. They saw me play and they are giving me a chance.”
Williams admits that for a while, he became discouraged over the lack of offers and interest. And now that it has come to fruition, he is looking at it as a sense of motivation to succeed.
“I really feel like I was overlooked and I am going to work hard and get my name out there,” he said. “I really just needed a chance. I just needed an opportunity.”
Prior to choosing to sign with the Eagles, Williams also received an offer from Southern University at Shreveport, but the want to play closer to home was one of his main reasons behind decision to sign with Meridian. The other was the maintaining the loyalty to the Eagles because they were the first to reach out.
“Southern-Shreveport offered me and they wanted me to come down for a visit, but I went with the first person who showed me interest,” he said.
For awhile, Williams has been doing his research on the Meridian squad, studying their style of play and tendencies by watching videos on Youtube. His takeaway from the film study is that he believe he will fit in well with his new team and the system.
“What I was looking at from last year is that I believe they don’t have a lot of guards,” he said. “I believe I can come in and help them with that. I am just going to come in and help in whatever way possible, anyway that I can. I want to help my team win.”
Williams adds that he enjoys their style of play saying that they are the type of team that likes to push the ball up the floor and play fast-paced.
When he is not on the floor in Meridian playing or practicing, Williams will focus heavily on his academics, stating that he plans on majoring in welding.
He also wanted to shine some light on his time playing for Coach Hilton Harrell over the last four years in Magnolia.
“Coach Harrell really helped me get ready for this point,” Williams said. “He put some tough teams on our schedule this year to help. He put some Louisiana teams on our schedule that have some Division I players and he told me that is what I am going to see in JUCO. He was really helping me get ready.”
And Coach Harrell is very proud of the development Williams has made over the last four years playing at South Pike.
“Justin has been the catalyst on the team especially when we needed a basket or to make a play,” he said. “He’s always come up with plays especially when the game is on the line, down the stretch. He can get to the basket or draw the contact and get to the line. Those are the kinds of things that were kind of helping us reach those Elite 8’s or coming in second place in the district or something like that, winning over 20 games during the last four years.”