Ki'Ana Williams signs with Broncos
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 21, 2009 1:46 PM
Ki'Ana Williams is leaving Goldsboro High School, but her example will exist for many years.
A modest, but fiery point guard known for pin-point passes, Williams will continue her basketball career at Fayetteville State University. The senior turned heads at a recruiting day on campus, learned more about the Broncos' program and noticed its camaraderie.
"The chemistry they have together as a team, and the relationship they have with the coaches is very family-oriented," said Williams.
Williams averaged 17.5 points and seven assists per outing this season. Goldsboro compiled an 18-8 record overall, earned the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference regular-season title outright and advanced to the sectional finals.
A commitment to improvement and a relentless work ethic paid dividends on the court for Williams. Her jump shot steadily increased in accuracy as she became nearly a 40-percent from 3-point range by her senior season.
Once considered a liability on defense, Williams developed into an asset. Often called upon to guard an opponent's leading scorer, she averaged over three steals a contest.
"Defense was one thing that she knew that she needed to improve on and this year she worked on her defense a lot," said Goldsboro head coach Brandy Smith. "She has to take it a whole new level playing at a whole new pace in college athletics. She knows that she's going to take that part of her game to whole a new level.
"To be able to be on the floor, and to be able to shoot the ball and help out her team in that way that helps for them in Fayetteville State."
FSU head coach Eric Tucker plans to utilize Williams primarily as a shooting guard during her freshman season. Williams began her high school career as a shooting guard and Smith anticipates her former pupil making a smooth transition back to that role in the offense.
The Broncos finished 19-9 last season and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament. By signing Williams, Tucker inherits a player with uncanny court vision, a passion for the game of basketball and a mature knowledge of the game. During her tenure with the Cougars, Williams became an extension of her coaches on the floor.
Smith trusted her in the most-critical moments.
"I talked to several college coaches about Ki'Ana and one thing they talked about was how immediately they recognized her passion for basketball," said Smith. "They recognized her passion for being a point guard and being that leader out there on the floor. She sees the floor well, and she recognizes defenses and when they change.
"I felt secure every time she had the ball in her hands."
Williams is the first player to continue her career in college during Smith's three years at the helm of the Goldsboro program. The accomplishment causes pride for Smith, who says that Williams' example as a student-athlete is a "priceless commodity."
"It's definitely going to be at the top of my list every year to use Ki'Ana as an example of growing and becoming a great student, a great athlete and a leader," said Smith.
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