Updated 11:58 a.m. . . .
If Donte Williams has half the effect on Georgia’s basketball team he had at Miller Grove High School, the Bulldogs could be in for some good things.
Williams, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward, committed to UGA coach Mark Fox Tuesday night. His decision comes on the heels of the Wolverines winning their second consecutive Class AAAA state championship.
Asked how much Williams’ presence had to do with Miller Grove winning all those games, coach Sharman White said, “Everything, everything to do with it.
“Especially this year. He was our guy on both sides of the ball,” White said. “He plays 94 feet both ways. At first he was kind of a quiet leader, but he became more assertive as the season went on. He’s really developed and matured as a player and we just kind of, you know, followed his lead.”
Williams, he AJC’s Class AAAA player of the year, chose the Bulldogs over Auburn, Georgia State, UCF, UAB and East Carolina.
“I believe it’s I can develop my game and get better,” said Williams, averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks per game for the Wolverines. “It’s a place I can see myself playing at in the future. I feel really good about my decision.”
Williams just took an official visit to UGA this past weekend. That’s what sealed the deal on his decision.
“I got up there and I saw the academic program as well as the basketball side of the school and I like both sides,” he said. “I think it’s a place I can get a good education and I can develop as a basketball player. And I can see myself being around those guys the next few years, the players and the coaches.”
Williams said he either knows or is familiar with most of the players on the team as the majority are from the Atlanta area.
Williams is a slender, athletic forward who played four positions for Miller Grove. So where does Georgia’s staff see him fitting in?
“Something similar to Trey [Thompkins],” Williams said. “I’m a mobile forward, somebody who’s just not going to post up all the time. I can step out and shoot from the 3-point line, move around and stuff like that. A 3-, 4-type guy.”
I asked Williams if he had any insight on Thompkins impending decision whether or not to enter the NBA draft.
“Right now Trey doesn’t really know what he’s going to do,” Willilams said. “If he comes back next year it’ll be a chance for me to see a guy like him at the next level. It’d be a good thing to have a chance to play with him.”
Willams joins forward Cady Lalanne in the Bulldogs’ Class of 2010. Lalanne, also a 6-9 forward, signed with UGA during the early period last November. The Bulldogs could sign as many as two other players are focused on finding shooting help on the perimeter. They have been vigorously recruiting 6-foot-7 shooting guard Dwyane Polee of Los Angeles.
Williams can’t sign a letter-of-intent until the spring period begins on April 14. He hasn’t decided exactly when he will do it but the school plans to put together a modest signing ceremony.
Williams, the first Miller Grove player to sign with the Bulldogs, plans to enroll at UGA immediately after his high school graduation.
“I’m going to start this summer and get on their weight program and start working out this summer with their conditioning coaches,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to get the process over with. Now I can just focus on schoolwork and finishing out the school year. For this to happen after winning two state championships is just a great feeling.”
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