Bruins' Williams makes pointed improvement Junior starts showing his ability on offense

January 30, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Just how well is John Williams playing these days for the Broadneck basketball team?

Good enough to spur serious talk about the Bruins climbing over Mount Dunbar in the regionals and earning a return trip to Cole Field House for the state 3A semifinals.

The 6-foot-5 junior arrived in a big way just before the Blizzard of '96 hit, scoring 19 points in a 17-point victory over No. 15 Arundel.

In that win over the Wildcats, Williams also had 12 rebounds, five steals, five assists and held Arundel's highly regarded Jamell Miller to four points.

To prove it wasn't a one-night thing, Williams came back nine days later and racked up 19 points and 12 rebounds in a 74-48 romp past Severna Park.

The next night he had 16 points, four steals and two blocks in a 61-51 win over North County.

Williams, who can play every position on the floor with ease, was erasing the final question mark on his basketball ledger and no one was happier than Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek.

"John's future in basketball is unlimited but he had to establish himself offensively and take the ball to the basket," said Kazmarek. "He's been aggressive for three straight games now and is really picking it up. He's a Division I college player. What level he plays at will be determined by John. It all depends on how much he improves."

Williams is already the "defensive stopper" on the sixth-ranked Bruins and has been a starter since his freshman year.

The recent run has raised his averages to 11.7 points, nine rebounds and 4.7 assists a game after a sophomore season in which he averaged 8.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

And there are several more intangibles that make him a coach's dream, Kazmarek said.

nTC "He's intensely self-motivated, a good student and a fierce competitor," said Kazmarek. "Those three things are what every coach wants in an athlete. I love him. He's a real, true gym rat. There are a lot of possibilities out there for him."

Syracuse, Villanova, Xavier, Manhattan, Holy Cross and the Naval Academy have been in contact with Williams since he showcased his game last summer at several camps, including the Five-Star in Pittsburgh.

At the Five-Star camp, he was selected to play in an All-Star Game for upcoming juniors and earned Most Valuable Player honors.

At the New Jersey Showcase Showdown, Williams was given the Mr. Hustle Award and he participated in the Charm City Super 50 camp at Loyola College.

Williams, who also runs track and plays soccer at Broadneck, said he isn't close to choosing a college.

Right now, his main goal is to get his team to Cole Field House for a second straight year.

"My biggest thrill in basketball was playing in Cole last year [one-point loss to Thomas Johnson in 3A semis]," said Williams. "I was pretty nervous but I played OK. I couldn't believe how big that place is."

To get to College Park, the Bruins have to knock off the renowned Dunbar Poets and Tommy Polley in the regionals.

"We have to keep our heads and keep focused to beat Dunbar," said Williams.

"Coach reminds us almost every day how tough it will be to win that game."

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