The name “Jordan Williams” was a regular on this sports page not too long ago.
Williams was a standout student-athlete on the court for the St. Edmund Prep H.S., Sheepshead Bay, boys’ basketball team. The three-year varsity player dominated for the Eagles en route to being named a three-time CHSAA All-League player and a three-time Tablet All-Star.
These days, Williams is suiting up for the St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, men’s basketball team. He is grateful for the chance to be continuing his basketball career in Brooklyn.
However, he has had to adapt to a role change. In high school, Williams was the primary scorer for his team whenever he took the floor. But now, the sophomore guard is embracing a role as a reserve on the Terriers squad.
In Division I college basketball, every student-athlete on a roster was a superstar in high school. That’s exactly the reason why they’ve been afforded the opportunity to play college basketball in the first place.
Williams is aware of this and has thus turned his attention on things he can control: putting in the effort in practice each day to continue improving his game.
A native of Bushwick, Williams went to elementary school in Marine Park and played Catholic Youth Organization basketball at St. Kilian, Farmingdale, L.I. He looked at Abraham Lincoln H.S., Coney Island, and Bishop Loughlin H.S., Fort Greene, but ultimately decided St. Edmund’s would be his best fit.
Williams burst onto the CHSAA ‘A’ division varsity scene as a sophomore in 2014. As a junior, he led the ‘A’ division in scoring with at 19.2 pts. per game.
Success in his junior year set him up for a historic senior year for the Eagles. In 2016-2017, the team captain averaged a double-double with 20.3 pts. and 11.4 rebounds per game. He joined the school’s 1,000-pt. club and became the first student-athlete in program history to be nominated for the McDonald’s High School All-American Game.
Now playing at the next level, Williams still incorporates what he learned from St. Edmund’s varsity boys’ basketball coach Dan Wiatre into his game.
“He (Wiatre) always told me to give it my all, even if I make a mistake,” Williams said.
Last season, Williams worked out with the Terriers in a limited capacity, so this year marks his first official season on the team. He’s appeared in a handful of games and is focused on doing what he can in practice to help his teammates improve.
“I feel like I’ve been one of the more verbal guys on the bench,” he said. “I try to make sure I support my teammates when they’re on the floor. I stay motivated knowing that I’m giving it my best in practice so that my teammates can be ready.”
St. Francis has played some competitive ball this season under ninth-year head coach Glenn Braica. The team though still remains the answer to one of college basketball’s most-asked trivia questions: Which four original Division I men’s team have never played in the NCAA Tournament?
The answer: the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.; The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.; the U.S. Military Academy (Army), West Point, N.Y.; and good old St. Francis.
Time will tell if this is the year the Terriers break the curse. As for Williams, he’s pushing his teammates in practice so that they’ll be ready for a strong showing in this year’s Northeast Conference Tournament on March 6-12.
He’s doing everything in his power to grow as a player and continuously learn what playing high-level college basketball is all about.
“When Coach calls my number, I’ll be ready,” he said.
It’s only fitting that a boy who grew up playing basketball in Brooklyn is now evolving into a man before our eyes right here in Brooklyn.
When his time comes to contribute for the Terriers, expect Williams to soar like an Eagle.
Contact Jim Mancari via email at email@example.com.