May 28, 2013 11:00:11 PM
Scott Walters - firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbus High School girls' basketball coach Yvonne Hairston thinks the best is yet to come for Daisha Williams.
A senior guard on this year's Lady Falcons team, Williams will continue her growth on the next level, after signing a scholarship offer Tuesday to play at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
"Daisha really developed late as a player," Hairston said. "She did not get a starting spot with us until we were a month into this season. Honestly, I think her best basketball is ahead of her. Northeast is really getting a player, who is ready to develop."
Williams helped all-stater performer Kiki Patterson with the scoring load this season. For a third straight year, Columbus finished as a North State semifinalist in the Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 6A playoffs.
"Playing at Columbus High was tremendous experience," William said. "I learned how to play the game and I really played with some great teammates. I learned how you work together as a team. The bond we had was incredible. We won a lot of games because of how well we played together."
When the season began, Patterson, a Mississippi State University signee, received much of the focus. As the double-teams and triple-teams kept increasing, Williams found her niche as a complimentary scoring threat.
"We really wanted a player who can put the ball in the hole," Northeast Mississippi Community College coach Brian Alexander said. "That is what stood out to us about Daisha. She has a great skills set and she is a legitimate scoring threat on the offensive end."
This past season, Northeast finished 14-12 in Alexander's second season on the bench. In a previous coaching stint at the school, Alexander carried the Northeast men's program to the national NJCAA tournament.
"I really liked how they play the game," Williams said. "I have gotten to know some of the players and it is really a family atmosphere here. My job is work hard during the summer months, so that I can be ready to go in there and contribute."
With proms and graduations now in the rearview mirror, the hard work can begin in earnest.
"I have been working extremely hard on my defense," Williams said. "That is going to be my focus over the next couple of months. I know I will have a chance to play and to score points. The ability to play defense and be a team player will be what separates me. I am very excited about the chance to play on the next level because this is something that I have worked toward for a long time.'
Hairston believes that work ethic will help Williams succeed on the next level.
"As a high school coach, you always want to see your players be successful later in life," Hairston said. "There is nothing like getting a free education and being able to continue to do something that you love. Daisha is the type of person who is going to take full advantage of that opportunity."
Scott is sports copy editor and reporter