NBA star schools Northstate kids on power of hard work
A young professional basketball player is in the Northstate this week.
22-year-old Derrick Williams played two years of division-one college basketball at the University of Arizona, and now two-years in the NBA.
Currently, he is sharing his knowledge with young players who want to follow in his footsteps.
“It's not often that an NBA or professional athlete comes to town, so the kids are kind of in awe of him," said University Prep basketball coach and camp organizer Steven Schuster.
Williams graduated from La Mirada High School in Southern California as a talented athlete, coached by Schuster, but had to work hard for recognition.
It is something kids in the Northstate can relate to, with so many of them not being highly-recruited.
"I wanted to do something a little bit different, and get out of my own city,” said Williams. “I think Redding is a perfect place. It's quiet. The kids want to work, they want to learn, and they want to get better."
Besides the fundamental skill set, which he has now showcased in two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Williams is sharing his perspective on not always being ranked the best.
He was not a top-recruited player coming out of high school. It is an experience he will not forget and is willing to share.
"All these kids want to receive [scholarship] letters. I remember when I got my first letter, just like these guys out here," Williams said.
While his former coach helped set things up at the camp, the kids are hoping to take away the lessons.
"For him to come into Arizona as not a big name, and to play as well as he did and to become the second pick is just cool to see,” said Schuster.
It is something Williams is trying to stress with these young athletes. They are hoping to improve their basketball IQ, as well.
"I'm hoping to learn his skills, and what his mindset is before games,” said Shasta High girl’s basketball player Allison Hoff. “I get really nervous before games so maybe if he can help me.”
The kids are willing to work, no matter how hard the process may be.
"Just fundamental skills, really,” said University Prep Sophomore Beau Forest. “And then building on that, and just becoming a better player. The best player you can become."
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