In the days leading up to the McDonald’s All-American Games in Atlanta, USA TODAY High School Sports will be catching up with various players to talk about their experiences. In this entry, we talk to Central Arkansas Christian (Little Rock, Ark.) guard Christyn Williams. The 5-foot-11 UConn signee is ranked as the No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2018 by ESPN, and has been hauling in a lion’s share of national accolades in recent weeks.
I arrived in Atlanta over the weekend and so far it’s been real cool, real chill. I’ve been having fun, but I’ve been really busy too.
We got to visit the Ronald McDonald House, and it was really fun. It’s crazy to see the kids that are there. It’s a very humbling experience. The smiles on their faces is mind-blowing. Just seeing the kids having fun – I know they’re going through a lot, you never know what people are going through – and just to see them smiling through it all, that is amazing.
A lot of us here in the game already know each other from AAU, but I’m especially looking forward to going up against Maddie Williams, from Trinity Valley (Fort Worth, Texas). She’s always been on my team in AAU, and now we’re on opposite sides, so that should be fun. She’s very quick and very strong, and is a good defender. She’s pretty much my height, but she moves like a little guard, so it’s challenging to play against her.
All in all, it’s been a pretty eventful week. On Saturday, Elena Delle Donne surprised me with the National Gatorade Player of the Year award. That was really crazy. I was very surprised. I had no idea she was coming, I was just working out and she came out. All my family and friends were there. It was crazy. I was shocked.
Elena was really cool, she’s a really down to earth person. She kept telling me that I was going to be amazing when I get to UConn, that I was a beast, and that made me feel great. It’s an honor to be recognized by someone I look up to like that, I was very honored.
As of this writing on Monday night, we’ve had two practices on the Philips Arena floor – one today, one yesterday. It was a pretty cool experience to practice in an NBA facility like that. Everything at Philips Arena is super nice, and to practice there with all the girls, the best girls around the country, all in all it’s just a humbling experience.
At Central Arkansas Christian, I averaged a double-double this season (26.8 points, 10.4 rebounds) and won a state title. The competition is obviously different in the McDonald’s All-American Game, but I’m going to go out there and just play how I normally play. I’m going to play my game, and whatever comes to me happens.