After losing in the sweet sixteen of the NJCAA National Championship last year, Gillette College is looking to redeem themselves with a more experienced team this season. Returning the majority of their players, they’ve been able to jump out to a 12-0 start and are currently ranked in the top ten of the NJCAA Division 1 rankings. Leading that charge on the court has been sophomore point guard, Trent Williams.
Williams, a 6’3″ point guard, flew way under the radar of NCAA Division 1 coaches coming out of high school. In fact, after his senior year he only held one other offer other than Gillette, which came from Cameron University, a Division 2 school in Lawton, Oklahoma. Playing at Episcopal High School near Houston, Texas, Williams’s talent may have gone unnoticed behind all the other high and mid-major talent in the area, but his opportunity at Gillette wouldn’t go amiss.
Currently averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game for an undefeated Gillette squad, Williams is starting to put the Division 1’s on notice. “I feel like I can score when I want to, so I’ve just been trying to get the rest of my team involved and they’ve been hitting shots,” said Williams on his stat-sheet-stuffing performances.
He’s put up a couple near triple-doubles this season, and even says he models his game after Mr. Triple-Double, Russell Westbrook. “Westbrook and (James) Harden are two of the top point guards in the NBA, so I try to do the things they do well, which is everything. I’d say the way I score is more like Westbrook,” said Williams.
Those stat lines are starting to catch the attention of a handful of mid-majors, including Portland State, Nicholls State, Jacksonville State, St. Bonaventure, Hofstra, New Mexico State, Texas-Rio Grande Valley, and San Diego. While none have offered at this time, Williams says he’s more focused on leading Gillette to a national championship at this time.
“Last year we made it to the sweet sixteen with only one sophomore and none of us really knew eachother,” said Williams, “This year we returned eight players that all know what it’s like to get to Hutch, and we’ve been on this grind before. We’ve got a couple guys who haven’t played yet, and we’ve got more talent and experience than last year, so I think when we’re on our roll nobody can beat us.”
As Gillette and Williams hit the thick of their season, time will tell if they can sustain the same amount of success. Already putting themselves in good position to win the Region 9 championship with their undefeated start, it’s likely the team will get a second shot at a national championship run. Along with that, expect more schools to come calling for the talented point guard, as he’s proving to be one of the best floor generals junior college basketball has to offer.