May 28, 2009
The roads between Starkville to Memphis are going to be a little more busier during the college basketball season thanks to Latavious Williams.
The former Starkville High School player announced Tuesday his commitment to play basketball at the University of Memphis.
Williams made the announcement at Humble Christian Life Center near Houston, Texas, where he is attending prep school.
Williams also considered Georgetown, Kansas State, and Florida International, but Memphis'' proximity to his home in Starkville was the determining factor.
"It just came down to being close to my family where they could see me play without having to do a whole lot of traveling," Williams said.
Williams said playing at Humble Christian Life Center was "a lot of fun." He averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds and led the team to a 36-2 record and a championship last season.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner, who took over when John Calipari left and went to Kentucky, has his eye on Williams at prep school and kept recruiting him once he was promoted.
"After he got to be head coach, we stayed in contact and talked," Williams said. "He''ll have me in the gym and push me one year. He says I can enter the (NBA) draft after that, so I trust him with that."
Because Williams missed the May 20 deadline to sign a national letter of intent, he signed scholarship papers. If there is any reason he decides not to attend Memphis, he can get out of his scholarship. He''ll have one year of eligibility with the Tigers if he decides to honor his commitment.
Pastner can''t comment on Williams until he enrolls in classes at Memphis.
In his senior season with the Yellow Jackets, Williams averaged 21 points per game and 12 rebounds while playing the four and five position. He primarily played the three at prep school.
"I started at the three, so I got better with my jump shot, ballhandling, and getting the ball up and down the court," Williams said.
Starkville coach Greg Carter has followed Williams'' prep career and believes he has found the right fit.
"There really wasn''t much he couldn''t do as a high school player," Carter said. "From everybody I''ve talked to they say he''s gotten a lot better. It''s good to see him go somewhere like Memphis. With some of the guys leaving and going to the NBA, it was an opportunity for him to go ahead and play right away."
Rivals.com rates Williams one of the top 20 players in the 2009 recruiting class.