Shawnee senior Jaelin Williams has decided to attend Wittenberg. But he might not play on the basketball team.
“I’ll probably miss out on some opportunities if I don’t play,” Williams said, “so that’s always something to think about.”
What Williams said he is thinking mostly about is whether he wants to balance academics and basketball in college because he is a “firm believer in grades.” He did it well in high school with a 3.5 grade-point average and leading his team to two straight Central Buckeye Conference titles and to the district final this year.
Williams said he will major in either accounting or finance. He also is considering a minor in sports management with an eye toward being a basketball scout.
“Trying to balance the sport and then school would be pretty challenging,” Williams said. “I know I’m going to miss it, so it’s not ruled out at all.”
Wittenberg coach Bill Brown said Williams, a 6-foot-5 wing player, was his highest recruiting priority this year.
“They actually said I have a good chance of starting my freshman year,” said Williams, the two-time CBC player of the year. “They want me to come play the three and bring it up some, too.”
Brown said he won’t push Williams to play or to make a decision before he is ready.
“We respect his thoughts and honesty at this point,” Brown said. “I’m not going to deny it that we hope in time that he will see the potential in personal satisfaction and enjoyment, the close-knit teammate relationships and all of the other things that are fun, enjoyable and satisfying that come with it. That’s my honest and upfront view on it all.”
Williams said even during this past high school season he was wondering if college ball is something he needs.
“Before this season I didn’t really think much about going to college and playing,” he said. “I realized a long time ago I wasn’t going pro.”
Williams also received an offer from Cincinnati Christian and invitations to walk on at Division I schools Radford and Longwood of the Big South Conference. Former Springfield South star Jayson Gee is the new head coach at Longwood. He also visited Division II Ashland and Tiffin.
Wittenberg became his choice because he said he wants to stay close to home. His mother is a Wittenberg employee, so he has the added benefit of free tuition.
“It’s nice to be wanted, but I don’t know,” Williams said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Jaelin Williams file
CBC leading scorer
Two-time CBC player of the year
Clark County Mr. Basketball
All-Southwest District Division II 2nd team