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Chicago na­tive An­ge­nay Wil­liams makes Pan­thers de­but at home tonight

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE GUARDIAN

An­ge­nay Wil­liams makes her UPEI Pan­thers reg­u­lar sea­son de­but tonight at home against the Saint Mary’s Huskies.

Bas­ket­ball has taken An­ge­nay Wil­liams east, west and now north.

The five-foot-nine for­ward from Chicago, Ill., has played in Texas, West Vir­ginia and Cal­i­for­nia. Tonight she plays her first reg­u­lar sea­son game as a mem­ber of the UPEI Pan­thers.

“Bas­ket­ball has taken me ev­ery­where I’ve been,” Wil­liams said ear­lier this week be­fore prac­tice. “It was a good thing (be­cause) I got to play against a lot of dif­fer­ent types of play­ers.”

She had to sit out the first se­mes­ter as a trans­fer stu­dent, but is now el­i­gi­ble to play with the Pan­thers.

“The good thing about sit­ting out is you get to prac­tice,” she said. “It was like a warm up for me.”

It al­lowed her to learn the team’s play­ers, coaches and sys­tems in prepa­ra­tion for tonight’s 6 p.m. game with Saint Mary’s.

“I’m ex­cited to get out there on the floor now.”

Wil­liams can play as a post or as a guard. Wil­liams said she can score, pass and re­bound, but needs to work on her de­fence and get­ting back on the play in tran­si­tion against the fast-run­ning Cana­dian teams.

When Greg Gould was hired as the Pan­thers coach, he reached out to his con­tacts for po­ten­tial play­ers.

One of the play­ers he pursed was Wil­liams. Af­ter a num­ber of con­ver­sa­tions she com­mit­ted to UPEI.

“I heard about the great coach­ing of Greg Gould so I just came to try it out.”

Wil­liams played three games with the Pan­thers at a tour­na­ment dur­ing the Christ­mas break.

“She’s played at a pretty high level and she’s very, very com­pet­i­tive,” Gould said.

The Pan­thers played the tour­na­ment with­out its lead­ing scorer from the first half, Anne Kiberd, due to in­jury. She was day-to-day this week and Gould was un­sure if she would be able to play Satur­day.

The Pan­thers started the first half with two wins be­fore los­ing five in a row. The Huskies are 61 in the At­lantic Univer­sity Sport stand­ings and ranked fourth na­tion­ally. Tonight’s game is worth four points in the stand­ings.

“It’s a big test for me, but I’m ex­cited for it,” Wil­liams said. “I love a chal­lenge and I can’t wait to get on the floor with th­ese girls.”


An­ge­nay Wil­liams, cen­tre, drives the lane dur­ing UPEI Pan­thers prac­tice on Tues­day. She plays her first reg­u­lar sea­son game tonight. “Th­ese girls are happy to have me, the coaches are happy to have me and I am happy to be here,” she said.

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