Virginia freshman Shemera Williams impresses in college debut

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Shemera Williams
Photo Credit: Martin Soaries

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.

We’ll have plenty of time to see how much more Shemera Williams has for Virginia and college basketball over the next few years.

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Martin is the Founder, Chief Editor, and Head Skills Development Trainer for Basketball Society. Martin has work experience in digital media, radio, and journalism. He started a basketball blog and internet radio show in 2013 on Blog Talk Radio. Martin previously hosted the Knightcap show for WCTC 1450 AM covering the Rutgers Men's Basketball team. He has been featured as a writer on sites such as Def Pen, TV Film News, All Hip-Hop, and more. Martin played high school basketball at South Brunswick High School (NJ) where he graduated in 2007. He is a 1,000-point scorer at SBHS and an All-Middlesex County performer as a 3-year varsity starter. He helped lead SBHS to their first ever Central Jersey Group 4 sectional state championship in 2007. Martin played college basketball at Eastern University, where he graduated (BA, Communications) in 2012. Martin was a four-year starter and a 1,000-point scorer at EU. Follow Martin on Twitter @Marsoaries and on Instagram @martin_soaries

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