One player that has really burst onto the recruiting scene so far this spring is Westwind Prep's 6-foot-5, 225-pound prep guard/forward Gary Williams.
A native of Oakland, California, where he attended Castlemont High School, Williams ventured to Westwind Prep this year after a breif stint at ABCD Prep in Texas. While a late member of Westwind Prep International's post-graduate program, Williams missed out on much of the fall recruiting, while he moved destinations and Westwind Prep went through it's share of probelms with the basketball program.
This spring, Williams has more than made up for his lack of exposure quickly, while performing at a high level with his club program the Arizona Magic-Pump N' Run-2013 squad - helping the team to an undefeated spring thus far. Williams helped lead his team to the championship of this year's 2012 Southwest Showcase Main Event, and also an undefeated performance last weekend in the Area Codes Easter Classic.
With his play thus far this spring, Williams has proved to be a force physically as he has excellent size and strength - able to overpower his competition off the dribble on strong, slashing drives to the basket, while also being able to make plays from the perimeter for himself or his teammates with excellent ball handling and passing of the basketball. Williams has also shown a consistent shooting stroke out to three-point distance, and has displayed a nice mid-range game, which makes him very difficult to defend.
A native of Northern California's toughest high school league, Williams is a throw-back performer that likes to get others involved and seems to get much more delight from making an excellent pass to an open teammate or setting up a teammate off a strong drive towards the basket.
Williams advised me that he is currently hearing from numerous schools as of late, including UNLV, UTEP, Texas Christian, Houston, Weber State, Depaul, Houston Baptist, Missouri State, St. Louis and Hawaii Pacific. Each program has shown very strong interest in Williams as of late, and will look to evaluate him over the April evaluation period this month.
Williams told me that he will consider a school where he has an opportunity to play and be successful. He plans to re-evaluate things for himself later this month, when he will take his visits before making a decision.
"I love Gary," said his club coach Jeff de Laveaga. "He has a great attitude and is a yes-sir, no-sir kid. I would recommend him to any program recruiting him. He is a nice talent."
Williams is also already an academic qualifier and an excelelnt student - possessing a 3.0 CUM GPA and already receiving a 1200 on his SAT college entrace examination. He also told me that he plans to major in Sports Broadcasting with a minor in Journalism. Williams was also his school's class president in high school.
I will continue to follow Williams' recruitment closely this spring, and bring you any updates as they continue to develop.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Williams is a nice-looking wing prospect that is very skilled and is capable of playing either the point guard position, off-guard or the small forward position on the floor. A talented and gifted player, Williams has a very good motor and competes with excellent energy. He likes to have the basketball in his hands where he is able to make plays off the dribble for himself or others with excellent court vision. Likes to play the point position and is a very big guard as a result. Has a very nice handle of the basketball. Is also a very good mid-range shooter and has range out to three-point distance. Has a svery strong physical frame that allows him to overpower most guards in the post, where he is able to score effectively around the basket and also rebound and finish the play. A very strong rebounder. A triple-double waiting to happen here, since his size allows him to do so much on the floor. Rebounds hard on both ends of the floor, and uses his size and body to make plays. Also a good defender with good lateral quickness. Has the ability to become a lock-down defender with more focus in this area. An excellent teammate that enjoys winning, and has a great attitude on and off the floor with good professionalism as a player. Very mature.