Bucks are sa­vor­ing win over War­riors

But team re­mains fo­cused on big pic­ture

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Sports - Matt Ve­lazquez

LOS AN­GE­LES - There’s no deny­ing that beat­ing the Golden State War­riors is a notable ac­com­plish­ment for any NBA team. To do so in Oak­land and by 23 points like the Mil­wau­kee Bucks did Thurs­day night with an em­phatic 134-111 throt­tling is cer­tainly an ac­com­plish­ment wor­thy of cel­e­brat­ing.

Proud as the Bucks were, the mood of the locker room af­ter the game wasn’t a cel­e­bra­tory one. More than any­thing, Mil­wau­kee’s play­ers kept re­it­er­at­ing one thing – that they were happy with how they re­bounded from their 15-point loss to the Port­land Trail Blaz­ers on Tues­day.

“We played well and we just wanted to get back on track,” said Gian­nis

“I felt like it was home to me,” Wil­liams said. “I felt like they were go­ing to take care of me. I just feel like it was the best fit for me for the next four years and to show off what I can do.

“Es­pe­cially know­ing I could be­come the start­ing point guard for Mar­quette Univer­sity.”

The Golden Ea­gles will lose six se­niors af­ter this sea­son and Wil­liams gives MU women’s coach Carolyn Kieger a big piece to build around.

Wil­liams said she de­cided Sun­day and that, af­ter hear­ing the news, Kieger and her coach­ing staff were ec­static.

“They cried,” Wil­liams said. “They were very ex­cited be­cause they know what we can be­come for the next four years.”

Those were no doubt tears of joy be­cause MU is get­ting a scor­ing ma­chine.

Wil­liams led the na­tion at 39.9 points per game as a ju­nior. With 2,341 points, she is 889 away from pass­ing for­mer South Shore stand­out Me­gan Gustafson for the top spot in state his­tory. Wil­liams scored 1,038 points last sea­son.

The 5-foot-9 Wil­liams should be a nat­u­ral fit for Kieger’s up-tempo sys­tem with the guard’s deep shoot­ing range, pass­ing vi­sion and deft ball­han­dling.

“I be­lieve, hon­estly, that she will be a bet­ter over­all player (in col­lege) than just a 40-point scorer,” said Mil­wau­kee Academy of Sci­ence coach Gio­vanni Ri­ley said. “Here at MAS, she was kind of forced to score the ball as much as she was.

“But she’s an un­be­liev­able passer. With her av­er­ag­ing 40, she still led the state in as­sists. She’s su­per un­selfish.”

Stay­ing close to home was im­por­tant for Wil­liams.

“I just felt like I would love for my mom and my fam­ily to watch me play for the next four years,” she said. “In­stead of her hav­ing to fly any­where else and cost her a lot of money. I just felt like it is fam­ily and (MU) will treat me like fam­ily there.”

That sounds good to her mother, Taneisha.

“I can go to ev­ery game now be­cause I am afraid of fly­ing,” Taneisha said with a laugh. “So I am very ex­cited be­cause each and ev­ery­one can come out and watch her.”

Wil­liams be­comes the lat­est home­grown player for MU, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Golden Ea­gles se­niors Al­lazia Block­ton and Amani Wil­born.

“It’s big,” Ri­ley said. “I think for a girl be­ing on the na­tional level, with her be­ing ranked in the top 50 in the coun­try, she could have went any­where in the coun­try.

“For her to stay home, it’s a big deal. But I know she wanted the sup­port to have fam­ily close.”

The early sign­ing pe­riod for bas­ket­ball is Nov. 14-21. Kieger can’t com­ment on Wil­liams un­til the guard signs her na­tional let­ter of in­tent.

With her de­ci­sion made, Wil­liams can now con­cen­trate on the goals for her se­nior sea­son.

“Win­ning state, that’s all,” she said. “And grow­ing as a leader on and off the court.”

She­mera Wil­liams (left) hopes to get a state cham­pi­onship be­fore head­ing off to play at Mar­quette.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.