05/05/12 — Williams likes Sandhill's up-tempo style of play

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Williams likes Sandhill's up-tempo style of play

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 5, 2012 11:15 PM

The opportunity to continue his basketball career and further his education at the same time was enticing in its own right to James Williams.

The chance to play for a national champion was more than he could pass up.

A former member of the basketball team at Goldsboro High School, Williams has committed to Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst. The Flyers won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championship in mid-March and finished the season 30-6 overall.

"I feel like being with a team that just won a national championship can make me better," Williams said "I want to work on my dribbling skills, and work on my shooting and become more consistent."

A four-year member of the varsity basketball team at Goldsboro, Williams was a part of the 2009-10 squad that finished 23-8 and reached the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state championship game. A 6-foot-5 forward, Williams averaged close to 10 points and eight rebounds a game as a junior that season and produced similar numbers as a senior.

Williams spent this past season at Charis Prep in Wilson.

From reaching the state finals and winning Carolina 1-A Conference championships, Williams experienced multiple highs during his high school career. He and his teammates also persevered through multiple adversities from losing in the state finals to having three different head coaches in three years.

Williams has gained a sense of perspective from the ups and downs of his high school career that should pay off as he prepares to juggle life as a college student and athlete.

"All of our coaches at Goldsboro told us no matter what is against you have to play hard in the face of adversity," Williams said. "Even though you may lose at times you can learn from your losses."

Williams visited Sandhills and had the opportunity to take part in a scrimmage. The Flyers' up-tempo style and athleticism were selling points for Williams to join head coach Mike Apple's program. Before being named head coach at Sandhills in April of 2011, Apple spent 26 seasons as a high school head coach with stops at Western Harnett (1998-2003) and Pinecrest (2003-2011).

"I am extremely pleased that James will be continuing his education with Coach Apple at Sandhills," Goldsboro head coach Patrick Reynell said. "I know that Coach Apple was a great high school coach at Pinecrest and, obviously after winning the DIII JUCO national championship, a great college coach as well.

"I think Sandhills is getting a great 'glue' guy. James is extremely athletic; someone who can leap and beat others up and down the floor, and, along with his height, play inside or out."