“I don’t want to join UConn—I want to be the team that takes down a team like UConn.”

Statements like this are one of the many reasons why college coaches are hounding Trinity basketball star Makiyah Williams to join their programs. Nicknamed “Makillah,” Williams has decimated opponents in her two and a half years at Trinity. The multi-faceted junior can play 1-5, making her the perfect fit for today’s modern brand of basketball.

“I think everyone knew she was going to be good,” said Blazers’ head coach Kim Coleman. “She just had a natural feel for the game and does things that only great players do.”

Before Williams was a D-1 prospect, Coleman coached Williams at Chicago Hoops Express (an AAU program) since the junior was in sixth grade. The talent was all there, but Williams was a shy kid. During games, she would point out things to Coleman that were happening on the court, and Coleman would yell, “Don’t tell it to me! Tell your teammates!”

“She used to be very quiet and didn’t really talk until her sophomore year when she started opening that mouth of hers,” said Coleman. “She was a little shy, but I think she realized how good she could be and started to talk a bit more. Her basketball IQ was too high for her to not share it with her teammates.”

Since her first year, Williams has transitioned into a vocal leader on the court and stays in the gym with the junior varsity team after the varsity squad is done practicing. She will even put on a blocking pad and work with the younger post players on their craft down low.

“My coaches have always told me that great players make their teammates better,” said Williams. “I’ve felt like I’ve always done it but now that I’ve developed more as a player, I feel like I can really make a difference anywhere I go.”

Williams has certainly made a difference on the court in the way she has taken over games this season. In the season opener, she outscored St. Charles East 44-43 by herself (the Blazers won 72-43).  

However, her most memorable moment during her time at Trinity came earlier this month.

On Jan. 4, at the Grow the Game tournament, Williams grabbed an offensive rebound that bounced to her at the top of the key. Her defender sagged off and left space for a wide-open three.

Big mistake.

Williams took one dribble, stepped into her shot, and swished home her 1,002 career points as a Blazer. Williams was rewarded with a customized basketball that has her name and the number “1,000 career points” across it.

“Man, I got chills when she made that honestly,” said Blazers head coach Kim Coleman on Jan. 6. “”I’ve watched her become a woman who represents her school and family and to see her become a vocal leader for this team this season has been great.”

Williams credits the expansion of her game to watching YouTube videos of various professional players. However, James Harden, who is also a left-handed shooter, is the player she likes to emulate the most since she has developed a similar step back jumper to Harden.

“I like taking moves I see online and giving them my own twist,” said Williams.

As of Jan. 28, Williams has received college offers from 13 schools (most notably Marquette, Kanas State and DePaul). One of her goals is to go in on day one and start for a team.

“Anywhere I go, I want to be challenged,” said Williams. “I want to go D-I and want to be pushed to be the best player I can be. I feel like I can step in right away and contribute.”

Outside the Lines

Since she was in sixth grade, Williams took an interest in art and customizes her own shoes with the logos she has created. She has one pair of red Nikes that looks like blood is dripping off them.

“There are a lot of NBA players, like Jayson Tatum, who talk about having ice in their veins,” said Williams. “I tried to do ice at first, but I messed up and it started looking like blood drops! But I thought that it was cool, and I have been doing that more.”

Williams hasn’t decided what she wants to major in when she attends college, but she is focused on pursuing art in some form.

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