McDonough transfer Williams signs with Howard for hoops
McDonough senior Williams signs with Howard for basketball
Through his first three years with the North Point boys basketball program, Tyler Wil- liams was apart of back-to-back Southern Maryland Athletic Conference titles, a Potomac Division title and a Charles County championship.
After his junior season as a key contributor in the starting lineup for the Eagles under head coach Jimmy Ball, Wil- liams made a huge offseason move as he transferred over to McDonough to play for long- time head coach Dave Rooney for the upcoming 2016-17 sea- son.
Howard University and head men’s basketball coach Kevin Nickelberry recently landed the 6-foot-8 swingman, a poten- tially significant development for a program that’s trying to claw its way back into relevance.
Williams inked his national letter of intent at the NCAA Di- vision I outfit located in Washington, D.C., during the early signing period on November 11.
The Rams newcomer said that he and Nickelberry had developed a relationship since Day 1 as the Howard program took notice during the summer of Williams’ sophomore season.
“This is huge for me. It is very exciting to go Division I and show everyone what I can do,” said Williams in a phone interview on Monday night. “Howard is close to home and I want to be able to make a difference in the program. Coach Nickelberry has been in my corner and is like a father-figure to me. He followed me through AAU and in high school and it was the perfect fit for me.”
Williams had one other offer in Division I’s Coppin State in Baltimore, but made his decision to go to a historically black university which has a histori- cally known environment and competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
“Howard is an up-and-coming program and I like that coach Nickleberry is bringing in great talent. My recruiting class has magnificent upside and I feel as though we could be really special,” Williams said.
After averaging almost five points and three rebounds a game as a sophomore, Williams had a much more improved junior campaign last season as he was inserted into the Eagles’ starting lineup. He averaged 10.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a game.
“Tyler has great upsize. He has a lot of potential and a good skill set,” Rooney said. “He can shoot the ball outside and can finish at the rim. With his size and length he’s going to have to imagine that he’s playing against bigger guys, which will help him at the college level. The coaches that he’s had in the past has really helped with his development.”
Williams, who also spent his summers in the offseason playing for D.C. Premier, for the District Basketball Club and the Baltimore United, has credited not only his coaches along the way, but his father Thom- as Williams for helping him become a student of the game and adding different parts to his overall game.
“My father has been extremely instrumental in my life. He pushes me to my breaking point, which in the long run is really needed,” said the young- er Williams, who started play- ing basketball at the age of 4. “He works me out and he has really taught me 70 percent of the stuff I know about basket- ball.”
When asked what he wants to the bring to the Bison program, Williams said. “I want to bring my versatility and winning attitude to Howard. I want to be able to come in and help build a legacy for the program.”
Williams’ signing was a signif- icant moment in Nickleberry’s effort to build the Bison into a mid-major power.
When Nickleberry left Hampton and took over Howard in 2010, the Bison were ranked 351st out of 352 Division I teams. Last season, Howard finished 12-20 on the season, but with an exciting incoming freshmen class and some returning players, the Bison look to make some noise in the MEAC. Howard currently is 0-4 on the season thus far.
“Working hard and having good character on and off the court means success,” Williams said. “College is going to be a test, but I’ve been working out with a lot of people that can give me knowledge for the next level. I’ve been working on my jumpshot and conditioning mostly.”
Now that the recruiting process is over, Williams can now focus on finishing his high school career with the Rams.
“We want to continue to build his foundation,” Rooney said. “He has some friends and very good teammates here at McDonough who are getting adapted to him and hopefully we can parlay that into some success.”
Former North Point forward Tyler Williams, who transferred to McDonough in the offseason, is pictured dribbling up the court in last season’s 56-51 victory over the Huntingtown Hurricanes in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championship game. Williams signed his national letter of intent to play Division I basketball at Howard University on Nov. 11.
McDonough High School senior Tyler Williams, a recent North Point transfer, signed his national letter intent to play basketball at NCAA Division I Howard University on Nov. 11 in the school’s gymnasium. Seated, from left, are Williams’ father Thomas Williams, Tyler Williams, Williams’ mother Misha McAllister and younger sister Madison Williams.