Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Tappan Zee's Rob McWilliams

Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Tappan Zee's Rob McWilliams


Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Tappan Zee's Rob McWilliams


Name: Rob McWilliams

Tappan Zee basketball's Rob McWilliams is this week's Journal News Rockland Scholar Athlete of the Week

Tappan Zee basketball’s Rob McWilliams is this week’s Journal News Rockland Scholar Athlete of the Week

School: Tappan Zee

Class: Senior

Sport: Boys basketball

Athletic accomplishments: McWilliams, who was the Dutchmen’s captain, averaged 18 points and five rebounds for the season.  He averaged 11 points and five rebounds in the Class A semis and final at the County Center. He was named to the all-tournament team for the Section 1 Class A tournament. He’s a BCANY Section 1 Summer Hoops Festival team member and an LHBCA Showcase team member.

Academic accomplishments: McWilliams has an 89.9 GPA and is a member of the honor roll. He’s taking AP calculus. He’s undecided as to where he’s going to college next year.

School and community involvement: McWilliams has been a camp counselor for the high school basketball summer camp. He’s participated in Baking Memories 4 Kids over the winter.

Getting to know Rob McWilliams

The Journal News: It’s been less then a week since the Section 1 Class A title game and it didn’t end the way you had hoped but how do you think the season went as a whole?

Rob McWilliams: I think we had a great season. Coach (George Gaine) said we couldn’t really look at not getting the gold ball as the basis of how our season went. We have to look at the accomplishments. I think we accomplished a lot being 21-3. Unfortunately, we fell short. Other than that, we got really close together as a group of guys. We had a great season overall and we have to be happy about that.

TJN: How long have you been playing basketball?

RM: My entire life. I just remember as a little kid running around the gym while my brothers were playing CYO. That was before I could even reach the rim. I started consistently playing in the third grade CYO basketball. I played with a couple of kids who are on my team throughout my high school career.

TJN: Did you ever have a moment when you first started playing the game where you realized you could be good at it?

RM: I don’t know, I think I just fell in love with the game and wanted to get good at it. There’s countless hours of training that went into it — both in basketball and weight training. I remember starting in AAU in middle school about fifth-sixth grade and at that moment I really felt like this is the most fun I’ve ever had and I want to keep doing this. When you have fun doing something, you want to get good at it. That was my goal and I think I accomplished that or got close to it. I don’t think I’m done yet. Hopefully, I can continue playing and I can get better.

TJN: When you’re investigating colleges for next year in order to continue playing, what are you looking for because the atmosphere at Tappan Zee for basketball is insane?

RM: I don’t know, it’s a little hard to beat. Our fan support is out of this world. I don’t know if I’ll find that atmosphere but I hope to find the same experience of playing on the court with five guys that I really enjoy playing with. You have to go really high to get that kind of atmosphere.

TJN: Now would you want to play at the Division I level or are you looking more like Division II or Division III?

RM: If I got any D-I looks I’d definitely be interested. It’s always been a dream of mine to play in college. Unfortunately I don’t have any D-I looks at me, I have some D-IIs and D-IIIs looks.

TJN: Do you know what you want to study?

RM: I think I’ve narrowed that down to either business or engineering.

TJN: What’s your favorite community service work and why?

RM: My mom’s friend has a company called Baking 4 Memories. We bake cookies and send them out to people and the proceeds go to kids with illnesses giving them an all-expense-paid trip to Disney. I worked on it a couple times and it was fun because it’s fun doing the work plus you help someone out that’s less fortunate than you. I’d say anything that helps people gives me a big smile. They appreciate us doing it. It makes me feel good about myself.

TJN: Do you think the journey you’ve gone on has gotten you prepared for what’s to come when you get to college next year?

RM: I think it’s helped so much. I’ve learned more life lessons in basketball and with TZ basketball. It’s helped me manage my grades and athletics in college. I’m looking forward to doing that in college.

The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week program honors students for their academic, athletic and community achievements. Each week a winner is selected from nominees submitted by athletic directors. Only seniors can be nominated, and the award can be won only once. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday. The presenting sponsor for The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete program is Gary Goldberg Financial Services.

Debbie Schechter

Twitter: @LoHud_Debbie


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