When you watch Shemera Williams right now as a freshman coming off the bench for first-year head coach Tina Thompson at Virginia, you wouldn’t automatically assume that she averaged 40 points per game in high school.
Williams was the two-time Wisconsin Player of the Year at Milwaukee Academy of Science, where she scored over 3,000 points in her career and averaged 39.9 points per game her junior year. She became one of the popular (and verified) young female basketball stars on social media.
She isn’t a star just yet for the Cavaliers, but it could be coming eventually.
On Thursday night against Rutgers, Williams made her collegiate debut as she was out the first eight games with a leg injury. She showed flashes of a freshman who could eventually find an elite rhythm at this level. Williams scored 14 points off the bench with three assists, three rebounds, and two steals in 26 minutes.
Williams operated behind senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby, who finished with 27 points and six rebounds continuing her stellar play this season. It was Williams, though, sticking out with her cagey and crafty ball handling, active hands, and getting to the basket and free throw line frequently. She only shot 6-for-11 from the foul line, but her attempts spoke to her aggression.
Shooting, in general, isn’t one of her comfortable strengths yet, but with less rust, more reps and more development at this level, she can be the kind of player who makes both big plays and big shots in big moments.
Head coach Tina Thompson on the freshman, via NBC29:
“I thought that Shemera [Williams] was solid. She has so much more in her. I said that in the very beginning. She was set back a bit by an injury, but she is slowly working her way back, and that is a big addition for us.”
Hall of Fame Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer commented on the job Thompson is doing in her debut as a head coach.
.@cvivianstringer complimented first-year @UVAWomensHoops head coach @IamTinaThompson after Rutgers took a 73-63 win against UVA in the #B1GACC Challenge last night at the RAC: pic.twitter.com/XsejmRaJZD
— Basketball Society (@bbsociety_) December 6, 2019
We’ll have plenty of time to see how much more Shemera Williams has for Virginia and college basketball over the next few years.