MILLEDGEVILLE — Despite the Baldwin High basketball team dropping its first three games of the season, senior Marquise Williams has solidified himself as a player to watch out for this winter in Middle Georgia, earning a double-double in each of the contests.
Williams has scored 68 points so far this season against Jones County, Dublin and Howard, averaging a stifling 22.7 points and 11 rebounds per game.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work,” the senior said. “A lot of hard work comes into it and my teammates help me a lot by feeding me the ball so I can score.”
While on paper Williams has surpassed his average points and rebounds per game from the first three games of last season, increasing his average by 6 points and 3 rebounds a game, he has slipped in his ability to score in the paint and hit key free throws.
Once the Braves’ go-to player at the free throw line, Williams has shot a low 30 to 47 percent in each of the contests this winter.
Williams has also struggled with turnovers as well, with 14 so far this season compared to his 2 in the first three games last year.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit, but I think that’s fatigue. You know, I have to play a lot more minutes,” he said. “We’re struggling as a whole with turnovers and free throws. They’re small things that we need to work on.”
Though it would be easy to look past the senior’s mistakes, Williams refuses to do so, as he hopes to perfect his game in the coming weeks.
“I’ve got to pay attention at practice,” he said. “I’ve got to make sure everyday that I come in and listen and work hard.”
Continuing to lead the team on and off the court, the experienced senior’s role has not changed despite his displeasure with his own performances.
In a low point for the Braves, Williams continues to uplift his teammates and reminds them often that there is still a lot of basketball to be played between now and February.
“It’s stayed the same—I’m still a leader for the team. When the guys get down when we’re losing, I’ve got to pick them back up,” he said. “We still got a lot more games; this is only the third game. We’re going to win.”
Williams shares the same desire that many high school basketball players have in that he wants to win, and the Braves’ center carries that expectation over to the team.
“I really want my team to win the region championship, and if it’s possible make it to the state playoffs,” he said.
Still early in the season, both Williams and the Braves’ goals are still alive.
The BHS standout plans to continue playing at a high level and possibly garnering the attention of the community this season.
“It feels good,” Williams said. “I’m finally getting recognized for my hard work.”