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Elgin senior Arie Williams (10) celebrates with teammates after his team defeated Las Vegas Centennial High School in the 38th Annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament semifinal game at Elgin Holiday Tournament. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times M
When you’re small, it seems that nothing ever comes easy.
Elgin’s Arie Williams is 5-8 and his team is 9-10. That hasn’t helped the high-scoring guard’s quest for a college scholarship offer, despite an average of nearly 24 points per game and defensive abilities.
As much as the season has been up and down for the Maroons, Williams has not only been getting better each game, but his leadership has taken a huge step forward. A true leader battles through the rough times, and that’s exactly what Williams is doing.
Although he is usually the smallest guy on the court, he is always the loudest. In a recent practice he demanded more from his teammates, encouraging them to run faster and take the open shot, all while he directed others on the court. He enjoys seeing his teammates succeed.
“As the team leader you have to make sure everyone has great confidence,’’ Williams said. “You have to stay positive and motivate everyone even when you lose.’’
For his first three years on varsity, Williams has always been a passing point guard. But this year things have changed. He is now the scoring leader as well as the point guard, still getting his teammates involved.
He doesn’t necessarily like the role of scoring but he understands what his team needs.
“When I’m able to get my teammates the ball more the flow of the game is much better,’’ he said. ‘‘But whatever my team needs from me in order to win, I’ll do it.’’
Williams doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet but has interest from D-I and D-II schools he plans on visiting after the season such as Long Beach State and San Jose State. While most kids want to go to the bigger-name school, Williams doesn’t necessarily.
“I just want to keep playing basketball,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I don’t want to stop.’’
Williams knows how to run a team and control the game while still being patient. He is a very court savvy and natural point guard. What he lacks in size, he makes up with heart and confidence.