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Elgin's Arie Williams (10) celebrates after making a game-winning shot last season. Williams recently committed to play college basketball at the University of Tampa. | Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

Elgin senior Arie Williams is taking his considerable basketball skills to the Sunshine State.

Williams recently solidified his college plans when he committed to the University of Tampa, an NCAA Division II school located on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

“I was really comfortable with the staff and players down there,” Williams said. “The campus and the weather make the location pretty good.”

A big senior season helped Williams earn 2013 Courier-News Player of the Year honors. The 5-foot-9 point guard led the area with 22.1 points per game and 102 three-pointers and also averaged 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals.

Williams attracted attention from several Division I programs, and his recruiting trail included an official visit at Northern Illinois and an offer to be a preferred walk-on at Chicago State. The chance to jump right into the mix at Tampa was a big selling point for Williams, who likely would have faced a tougher road breaking into the lineup at a bigger school.

“Of course I’m going to have to earn my minutes, but they’re giving me the opportunity to play and maybe even start,” Williams said. “I’ve just got to take care of business and make the most of my opportunity down there.”

A four-year varsity member for the Maroons, Williams was a key part of the program’s regional and conference championship teams during his sophomore and junior seasons. He is fourth on Elgin’s list of all-time leading scorers with 1,350 points.

Tampa finished 16-13 last season under coach Richard Smith, who has led the Spartans to a winning record in 26 of his 30 years at the helm. Williams made an official visit to the school in mid March.

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