Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Donald Williams will finish up his St. John’s visit today and so far he’s really enjoying it.
“St. John’s is a great campus, great people, wonderful environment,” the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Williams said Thursday by phone. “They really made me feel welcome.”
Williams, 19, is a Baton Rouge, La. native who is in his final season at Temple Hills (Md.) Progressive Christian Academy. He plans to visit Marquette the week after next, not next week as originally reported. Williams said he will then likely decide between St. John’s and Marquette, although several other schools are also in the mix.
“Pretty much, that’s how it’s looking right now,” Williams said of the Johnnies and Marquette.
Reached by phone, Williams’ AAU coach, Tony Tate of the New Orleans Jazz, said Oklahoma State, UAB and Marshall were also making a late push and that Williams might take one more visit to one of those schools.
Asked when a final decision would be made, Tate said, “In two weeks.”
Progressive Christian coach Russell Branch said Williams compares to Ray Allen of the Celtics and Tate was also very complimentary.
“He’s very athletic,” the coach said. “He’s very strong, runs the floor like a deer, gets off the floor real high. He has a mid-range game, shoots the deep three ball and gets to the basket to score. Defensively, he’s very long and athletic and can defend on the perimeter.”
Tate said Williams didn’t qualify out of Southern Lab High in Baton Rouge, and prepped at Progressive Christian, where he is now qualified.
“He’s a great kid,” Tate said. “That’ sa rare find and one who can play. He can really get after it.”
Williams is making his first visit to New York City but said he is friendly with Anthony Mason Jr. and Justin Burrell of St. John’s.
“Me and Anthony Mason, I really like him,” Williams said. “He’s a real cool dude. And Justin Burrell is a real cool dude.”
He added: “The players are real good guys and I fit in pretty well with them. We got good chemistry. We get along real well.”
And what does Coach Norm Roberts think of Williams?
“They said they really like me as a player,” Wililams said. “They love my personality.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.