PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: EAST HARTFORD'S ISAIAH WILLIAMS / by CTHoopsNews

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By Robbie Goodrich

There is a loud buzz booming about East Hartford’s Isaiah Williams.  The Hornets’ junior PG has stung all six of his opponents this year, including a monster game against Mike McGuirl’s East Catholic.  The 5’9 Williams torched East Catholic for 28 points and added seven assists. For the season he is averaging 18.7 points per game, 5.5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game.  The 6-0 Hornets have skyrocketed in state polls (fifth in the GameTime Poll and second in the Courant Poll) because of Williams’ play.  Polls are polls, how will they react to the hype?

I spent some time at practice with the Hornets last week and got to know Coach Ed Lavoie and his PG.  Lavoie, in his sixth year coaching the Hornets has developed a strong relationship with his players on the court and in the classroom.   Mr. Lavoie co-teaches Biology and Freshmen Seminar. He considers his players as “well-rounded,” and “school and community leaders.” He noted his varsity players have a combined 3.5 GPA.   The practice was rough.  Players were flying all over the court, and at times several went to the ground after being bumped or struck by their teammates.  

Coach Lavoie describes Isaiah Williams as a combination of some of his best players he has coached.   He said, “I was fortunate enough to coach Anthony Jernigan and Nick Fenton and he (Williams) is a combination of those kind of kids; where he scores the ball very well like those guys, embraces defense, a great teammate, a good leader on court, (and) facilitates on the court as well.”  Lavoie described Williams production as “effortless,” and added, “it comes easy for him when he gets on those spurts where he scores eight or nine points and adds some assists as well.” 

Isaiah Williams, who has recently had his sixteenth birthday, is happy with the opportunities he has been afforded attending East Hartford High School.  Williams is very comfortable with who he is on and off the court.  He lives with his mom, dad, older brother and dog Apollo.  RIP MAX.  He has developed all parts of his (game) and is looking to improve on his playmaking skills as well as his consistency. He said, “I’m in a phase where I’m trying to become a creator, and (learning) changing my speeds so I can help my teammates get open.”    He had a tremendous, eye-opening performance in the Hornets win against East Catholic.  He has scored in double figures in all six games this year with his low being 11 and his high being 28 against East Catholic.   Looking at his best games and worst games of his young career he noted a near triple-double performance versus Tolland as his best; and the Hornet’s loss in the CCC tournament against East Catholic in 2016 as his worst.   In describing the loss in CCC tournament he focused on his turnovers in big moments as a reason to count that as a learning experience.  He has learned and he is excelling.  Tonight he leads his squad up against another top PG, South Windsor’s Kewan Smoot.  It will be a tough and exciting matchup...

Favorite Player to play against: Mike McGuirl, East Catholic
Player her fears the most: Nobody
Favorite Coach to play against: Coach Smith, Windsor
Pro Player: Chris Paul, Clippers
College Player: Frank Mason, Kansas

Recruitment:  It should be noted that Williams is a young junior, just turning sixteen.  He is committed to improving his game while his body matures.  He will have many options in the next year or so to showcase his talent.  One thing is certain about his future, whether it’s doing a year in prep school or going straight to the collegiate level, Isaiah will have choices.