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, who previously flirted with St. John’s and Marquette, has committed to Kentucky.
“Donald is definitely a Kentucky Wildcat,” said Tony Tate, Williams’ coach with the New Orleans Jazz AAU program. “They enrolled him (Wednesday). It’s just a blessing that every thing shook out the way it shook out. Coach Billy Gillespie has a proving track record of making guys better, and that’s what we’re interested in.
“They’ve taken a lot of guys who needed a year or two to develop. They develop players well.”
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Williams, 19, had offers from St. John’s, Marquette and various mid-majors.
He is a Baton Rouge, La. native who is in his final season at Temple Hills (Md.) Progressive Christian Academy.
Progressive Christian coach Russell Branch said Williams compares to Ray Allen of the Celtics.
“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’s a rare find and one who can play. He can really get after it.”
According to KentuckySports.com, recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons projected Williams as a possible replacement for Joe Crawford and a player likely to compete with Jodie Meeks for playing time.
“He’s an impact recruit,” Gibbons said.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.