By Mark Cassidy
As you walk into Bishop Timon-St. Jude gymnasium, it’s hard to miss the kid in flashy gold shoes, splitting the defense and running down court for an easy transition basket. These gold shoes belong to Donte Williams – the focal point of Timon basketball this season.
Williams is one of the few returning seniors on the team and he looks to build on his 20 points per game average from last year. A pure shooter, from his mid-range shot to beyond the arc, and when you add in his quick first step, it makes him almost impossible to stop.
“Scoring will always be there for [Williams],” said Timon coach Joe Mihalics. “He knows opposing teams will target him, but he is a smart player. He welcomes it, and he has a counter for whatever is thrown at him.
“Williams is a great leader for us this year. He is going to carry us, as he goes we go.”
Williams looks to fill the big shoes left by his father, Ricky Williams, who was a 1,000-point scorer for Timon and an All-Western New York standout in the early 70’s.
Ricky went on to play professionally in the NBA and CBA and introduced Williams to the game as a child.
A natural shooter – Williams has worked intensively on his ball handling, defense, and most importantly, his leadership over this past off-season playing with the Buffalo Dragons.
“I told myself going into the season that I needed to be a leader this year now that I’m a senior,” William said. “I want to bring this team together as a family.”
With his height and athleticism he is reminiscent of Kevin Durant, with his smooth play as he rises above defenders to get his shot off. His height also benefits him on the defensive end, snagging rebounds.
Despite having a young team, Timon will look for Williams to carry them to back-to-back Monsignor Martin championship game appearances. A few injuries last season limited Williams to 18 games but he still found a way to make himself known in Western New York, especially following a 20-point performance versus St. Joe’s in the Manhattan Cup semifinals last year.
This year he wants it all. A loss to Canisius in the championship last year is still in the back of his mind, pushing him to lead this junior-filled roster to the promise land.
Williams’ focus is clear, to win. He is putting his college decision on hold and is ready to showcase his reformed game versus East on Dec. 5in the Pastor-Cooper Tournament at Daemen College.
His gold shoes will grab your attention, but his play is how he leaves his mark. Look for the second Williams name to be added in gold to the 1,000-point club banner in Timon’s gym, but for Williams, the main priority is to have a championship banner hanging alongside it.