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Connor Williams will readily admit he’s not the most adept on the basketball court.
The Meade County senior forward isn’t the most coordinated player, either, and he isn’t expected to score a lot for the Green Wave.
But there’s one thing the 6-foot-4 Williams can do pretty well, and he’s content with that role. Williams is Meade County’s leading rebounder, averaging six per game entering today’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal matchup with the Owensboro Red Devils in the Boys’ 3rd Region Basketball Tournament.
“I just go out there and play. I don’t really think about it,” Williams said during Monday’s practice. “It’s one of the things I can do for the team. I’m not the best scorer or best dribbler, but if that’s what I have to do to contribute to the team, that’s what I’ll do.”
Williams has done a solid job of that down the stretch for the Green Wave (10-20). He has grabbed 77 rebounds in the last eight games, an average of 9.6 per contest.
Williams had 10 rebounds in Friday’s 11th District Tournament final against Breckinridge County and pulled down 11 in the semifinals against Hancock County.
He’s grabbed at least seven rebounds in seven of those eight games, helping Meade County go 4-4 in that stretch.
“He’s a big boy,” Green Wave coach Jerry Garris said. “He’s strong and he’s finally come around to using his strength. He wasn’t doing that early in the season. He’s a mild-mannered kid and kind of meek, and he’s a yes sir, no sir guy. Here lately, he decided he wanted to get the ball a little bit more and I’m glad he has.”
Until Williams picked it up, senior guard Bryce Garris – who’s at least 5 inches shorter than Williams – was the Green Wave’s top rebounder.
“When you’ve got a 5-9 or 5-10 kid leading you in rebounding and you’ve got a 6-4 kid out there, that doesn’t bode well for you,” Jerry Garris said. “But Connor has come on here lately, and that’s one reason we’ve been able to win a few more games this month.”
As Jerry Garris has tried to instill in his team during practice, Williams is just doing what he can.
He knows he’s not going to score 20 points a game, but that’s OK. It’s usually one of his rebounds that starts the fast break for the Green Wave. As long as he’s involved in some way, Williams is happy.
“I know if I really went out and tried to score, it would be a bit weird because I’m not the most coordinated person out there,” he said. “I’m happy doing what I can do. Coach always says ‘Do what you can do.’ I guess I just realized I need to do what I can. I’m not going to dribble the ball between my legs like Bryce, who can dribble well and shoot the lights out. I know I’m not capable of doing that. I just do what I can do.
“I’ll do anything to help out,” he added. “Everybody has to contribute and do our parts. Like Coach said, rebounding is my part so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Jerry Garris said Williams has an innate sense of where the ball is going to come off the rim and does a good job getting in position to get the rebound. If he’s out of position, Williams is smart enough to not draw a foul.
“Some nights he does have a good sense of where the ball’s going to go,” Garris said. “For the most part, he’s been more active than he was earlier this season. In the past, he just stood around and watched things happen. But lately, he’s been more active and moving to the ball. He doesn’t just stand there. I don’t know what’s changed, but something changed in him.”
It’s certainly been a good change for Williams and the Green Wave.
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or email@example.com.