When Walt Williams was coming out of Crossland High School in Prince George's County four years ago, he was not mentioned among the top 100 players in the country.
"I was in the next 400," Williams recalled last night.
After getting barely any national recognition during his first three years at Maryland, Williams is no longer one of college basketball's best-kept secrets.
Yesterday, Williams was named a second-team All-American by The Associated Press. Last week, the 6-foot-8 senior from Temple Hills was named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and first-team All-American by Scripps-Howard News Service.
Williams was named along with Byron Houston of Oklahoma State, Don MacLean of UCLA, Anthony Peeler of Missouri and Adam Keefe of Stanford. Those named to the first team were Christian Laettner of Duke, Harold Miner of Southern Cal, Jim Jackson of Ohio State, Shaquille O'Neal of LSU and Alonzo Mourning of Georgetown.
"It's good to see four years of hard work pay off," said Williams, who led the ACC in scoring this season (26.7) and broke Maryland's single-season scoring record. "The elders used to tell you, if you work hard, good things will happen. You didn't listen to them, but they're right."
Williams finished his career with 19 straight games of 20 points or more -- the longest streak of any Division I player in the country -- including seven in a row with 30 or more points.
"It's definitely nice to be mentioned nationwide as one of the best players in college," said Williams.