Star Prospect Elizabeth Williams signs with Duke

Duke got a big time front court player in Williams who rocks her hardware after helping Team USA come home with the Gold. DTV Photo

One has to wonder how long it will take the Cameron Crazies to call Elizabeth Williams “Queen Elizabeth,” for on the basketball court the 6-3 Virginia Beach prospects game evokes thoughts of royalty.  Interestingly, Williams attends “Princess” Anne High School as well.  Williams is ranked by many as the nations top girl prospect and she made Duke her official destination after being courted by the best of the best in the world of women’s college basketball.  The center prospect picked Duke over Tennessee in the end and she told Blue Devil Nation that she was happy with her decision and glad the process was behind her. 

Williams shot 61 plus percent from the field in a recent FIBA tournament where she helped lead her team to a Gold Medal and she played for the Boo Williams Elite team over the summer.  Expectations are high for Williams but she seems more than grounded enough handle the hype and challenges to come.  But it is perhaps Williams shot blocking ability that has Coach P and the Blue Devils most excited.  Here is another BDN interview with Duke’ s latest star recruit where she shares her thoughts on the process and more -

So, why did the nations top ranked women’s prospect end up choosing Duke?

It was a combination of things.  I just thought it was the best place for me and I had prayed about it a lot and Duke was the best and it had everything I was looking for in a school. 

You had an official visit to Duke a short time ago.  Who did you have the most contact with from the Duke coaching  staff and when was that visit?

Coach Trish and Coach P were both there for me and had visited Duke on my official  for the women’s Blue-White game.  I probably talked with Coach Trish the most and she made me feel comfortable.  It was a great environment and a great school with great people and I knew it was right for me.

Can you talk a bit about the recruiting process?  Did you enjoy the process?

I wouldn’t say it’s something I enjoyed because some times I would be really tired or drained and just didn’t feel like taking phone calls or constantly thinking about it.  But at the same I learned so much from the process about each school.  I talked with so many people and so many different views that it was kind of adventitious to actually do that.

You are ranked #2 by ESPN and #1 in other prospect ratings and I suppose the hype brings about a lot of questions.  Was it tough dealing with the media and such?

Um, not so much that.  Girls talk more and listen to other players and hear where they are going and if you build a relationship with them it’s tempting to go where they are.

For those who’ve never seen you play, how would you describe your game in words?

I’m a smart player and I think I’m a team player so I try to help my team be successful and I try to lead by example.  So if you combine that and athleticism that’s me.

And what do you feel like you need to work on with concerns to your game?

Just be more versatile and in the college game I think that will help a lot so I’ll concentrate on that.

Has Duke told you how they might use you in their system?

Yes they have and with Krystal Thomas graduating only  is a real center Allison Vernerey at this point so I will be able to play down there a lot but as I get older I would play more on the outside.

You’ve been listed as a forward and a center by recruiting services.  Do you see yourself as a dual position player?

Yeah, I do but on most teams I end up playing center, so …

And what is Elizabeth Williams like off the court?

I think I’m a bit layed back.  I like to play guitar hero and hang with friends but I’m not super outgoing but at the same time, I’m not really shy.  On the court I try to lead by example but I kind of get reprimanded because I don;t get on my team as much when they make mistakes but I plan to be more vocal and by the time I’m in college it will pay off.

Do you pattern your game after anybody or have you tried to pick up on what some players do and try and emulate their game?

I really like Tim Duncan and I like the Spurs as a team but Duncan does everything in a smooth manner and is so fundamentally sound.  He’s definitely one of my favorite players to watch.

When did you actually make the decision to attend Duke?

I actually made the decision last week.  I actually told my best friend first and then I told my sister, parents and little brother.  It was the combination of a good medical program, basketball and school and the proximity played a factor as well.  The combination of good coaching a good team and good team chemistry were key factors.  I want to do pre med and talked with Doctor Friedman at Duke but I’m not sure what kind of doctor I want to be yet only that Ill be one.

It came down to Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee for your services?

Yes, it was those schools and Penn State.  My final two ended up being Tennessee and Duke and obviously I picked Duke.

Now, Duke has some other good recruits coming in as well making it one of the nations top classes if not the top class.  Have you an opportunity to get to know or play with any of them?

Yeah, definitely because Whitney [Knight], K.J. [Ka'lia Johnson] and myself played together this year and last.  And Amber Henson – we had know each other at camp and she was at the USA Trials and that’s our recruiting class now.

Duke and USA Basketball go hand in hand of late with Coach K and Coach P being a part of the program.  What was your experience like?

It was amazing and all of July … just to play for your country and win Gold was an honor.  You look at basketball in a different perspective and what you can do coming together as a team.

Thanks for your time Elizabeth and good luck with your upcoming high school basketball season. 

Thank you!

Sidebar - Duke currently has the nations 4th best class according to ESPN, but many think that is too low.  Duke is still in contention with 11th rated Betnijah Laney.  Here addition would give the Blue Devils the top rated class in the land.  BDN will continue to focus in on the women’s recruiting efforts so bookmark us now.

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