The Voice

Player Profile: Ava Williams

Jacqueline Gill 19, Copy Editor

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From softball to soccer to basketball, Ava Williams is a senior who has always been involved in athletics. Now focused on basketball, she is the two-time tri-captain of Presentation’s varsity team and has recently gotten a basketball scholarship at Colgate University. The Voice got the chance to talk with her about her experience on the court and the opportunity to play basketball at a collegiate level.

 

The Voice: What first got you interested in basketball?

AW: Well, I’ve always played sports since I was little. My parents put me in every sport: basketball, softball and soccer. But I actually first fell in love with softball, and I played that up until my junior year. I planned to play basketball in high school just for fun. I made varsity my first year, and it was really a big commitment so I realized it was not just some little thing I could do on the side. I actually had to give my all, and it was really my coach who made me fall in love with basketball more. He taught me so much more about the game and opened me up to how good I could really be. I think I just really loved constantly having to move around that quick and knowing that I could work that hard to be good.

 

The Voice: What is your favorite part about basketball?

AW: I would have to say one of my favorite parts is blocking somebody’s shot, still getting the ball after that and running so fast up the court on a fast break. I like the momentum of just completely playing really good defense and doing great offense on the other side. I just feel like it is so exciting. It is so much adrenaline.

 

The Voice: What position do you play?

AW: It kind of depends who is in the game. I am one of the tall people on my team, but there are taller people than me. If they are not in the game, I am usually a four. I’m not really a center but I can play down in the post area. I like to play on the wing and kind of be a forward — or a guard.

 

The Voice: What is your favorite memory from being on the basketball team here at Pres?

AW: My favorite memory is beating Carondelet High School. It was my freshman year. It was for CCS, I’m pretty sure. They were the team that was most likely to win. But we ended up playing a really good game, and we ended up beating them. It was just so exciting, and there was so much energy and we gave so much effort. I feel like we beat the odds and came out the other side.

 

The Voice: What is it like being a tri-captain of the varsity basketball team?

AW: This is actually our second year being the tri-captains. Last year we had no seniors, so we were considered the oldest people on the team. It was really hard to be a captain last year as a junior. There were still some things I had to learn in terms of how to be a leader. Now, I’ve learned how to move past my mistakes. Before last year, my mistakes and negative things that would happen during the game would really get to me and affect my attitude the rest of the game. My mentality is something I’ve always had to work on. This year, I’ve learned to be positive, always give 100 percent effort and to lead by example. If the rest of the team sees that, even though I made a mistake, I still play hard and have a really good attitude, then that just rubs off on everybody else.

 

The Voice: What is the most challenging part about playing on varsity basketball?

AW: Part of it is the time. Freshman and sophomore year, we had late practices from 7-9 and I live 30 minutes away so I’d get home pretty late. I think it was just managing my time with my homework and just getting enough sleep. If I don’t get enough sleep, it rubs off on the next day. It’s a ripple effect. It keeps going. The other hard part is playing for my coach, even though I really love my coach. He is one of those coaches though who will push you to be your absolute best. At times, that could get a little frustrating because I think he knows that I still have a chance to be better. I don’t think he ever wants me to be satisfied with how I’m doing in the moment — there is always another step I could take.

 

The Voice:  Recently you have signed at Colgate University to continue to play basketball in college. Congratulations! What was your experience with Colgate University like?

AW: I’ve always known I wanted to play a sport in college. Before, I wanted to play softball, and then it switched over to basketball. So playing in front of college coaches was nothing new to me. I was really used to that, and I knew the process of how to get myself to where I wanted to be. Overall, the process was really fun. There are so many options out there; there are hundreds of colleges out there. I just had to trust I would find the right one for me. Lucky enough, Colgate did really see my potential and my hard work. I kind of got that vibe that that’s where I belonged. They offered me my scholarship and I went over there [New York] to visit for my official visit, and I knew that was where I was supposed to be. It felt right. It just clicked.

 

The Voice: What is like to be already done with the college application process?

AW: I’ve never really felt the stress of college apps, and I’m really thankful for that. I only had Colgate’s application. They wanted me to fill that out by October 1, so I’ve been done for a really long time. I wasn’t really stressed about it because before they offered me the scholarship, I had to send them my grades and test scores to see if I would qualify to get into the school…and I did! I have just been stress-free. It is really nice because I can focus on my regular school work and look forward to graduating.

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