Courtney Williams Experiences Pride of Representing USA
When Courtney Williams saw herself in a photo wearing a white jersey with USA across the chest and the American flag waving in the background, for the first time she understood the pride her sister has as a member of the United States Air Force.
“At first it did not mean much to me because she is not on the front line at war, she is driving vehicles,” Williams said. “But it means a lot now. A lot of people do not get the opportunity to do this, so it is a blessing that we both have the opportunity of representing the country.”
Williams, a 5-8 guard from Folkston, Georgia was named to the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team on May 17. As a member of this team, she, along with her teammates, will represent the U.S. at the World University Games July 5-13 in Gwangju, South Korea.
“I have never played overseas, but I have teammates from overseas,” she said. “My whole team is foreign, playing with them every other day has prepared me for this competition.”
After Williams was named to the team, she worked with a strength coach at University of South Florida, where she averaged 20.3 points a game last season to break the program record in single-season scoring with 710 points as a junior in 2014-15, in an effort to play her best in South Korea.
“We had individual workouts. We had weights and conditioning everyday.”
“It has been good. It has been exciting. I am learning everybody’s game. We all have to sync eventually because we will have to play together after awhile. It has been interesting to see what everyone is good at and to see how my game fits in with theirs.
“My game is, I can run the floor and play defense.”
At training camp, Williams says she learned a lot from her coaches and teammates, who play for college programs all over the country, including Tennessee, Michigan State and Baylor.
“I have learned to always go hard no matter who you are playing against, no matter the circumstances,” Williams said after an evening scrimmage against a local AAU team.
Though Williams’s sister, who is stationed in South Korea, is unable to attend the competition, No. 6 is determined to play her best for her family and country.
“Doniece cannot come, but I have a cousin who is stationed out there who is coming. I am excited to see him. Everything that I do is for my family, to have my family at the competition in South Korea makes it more special. I want to play my best. I want to win gold for them.“
On June 29, one day after arriving in South Korea, the USA World University Games Team trained at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, where they were visited by Gen. Curtis M. "Micheal" Scaparrotti, who is the Commander United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command / United States Forces Korea and Rear Admiral Lisa Franchetti, who is Commander of both U.S. Naval Forces Korea and U.S. Navy Region Korea.
“It was a great experience. It made me appreciate what the men and women in the military do for us everyday.”
With this team, Williams feels she can win gold for the U.S., but like putting on her jersey for the first time she can’t describe the feeling until after it happens.
“It will be something that I never experienced before, when the moment happens I will let you know how it feels.”