Williams: I’m thankful for opportunity
By Jamie Thomas
The return to the court of the GB Men’s National Team had been eagerly anticipated by basketball fans across the country, as Marc Steutel’s side have been in a rich vein of form for an extended period that has seen many famous nights and euphoric memories created.
When Great Britain took to the floor in Newcastle this week, however, GB fans had a new face to get to know as the extremely talented London Lions forward Jordan Williams picked up his first cap in the first of a FIBA World Cup qualifying double header.
When asked about his first experience of camp and how it felt to step onto court in a GB jersey for the first time, Williams acknowledged the team effort that secured the win over Greece – typical of the team-first mentality that unites the group:
“You know it’s the team and the team win. We were locked in defensively, we were able to get out in transition and knock down some shots. It’s a good group of guys buying into a system and it’s been fun so far. I hope that now I’ve come into the GB system I can stay and continue for as long as possible.”
Fans of the British Basketball League will know of Williams’ talents only too well, as he has developed in recent years into one of the premiere players in the British game.
The 26-year-old has dominated courts across the league in the last few years with a multi-faceted skillset for the London Lions, as well as the Worcester Wolves and Surrey Scorchers previously.
The Londoner is currently averaging a triple-double of 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the BBL Championship for Vince Macaulay’s Lions, and secured a triple-double live in front of the Sky Sports cameras recently, showcasing his superb talents to a huge audience.
The Lions have also impressed on the European stage, progressing to the second round of FIBA’s Europe Cup with an impressive 5-1 record. Competing at a higher level for his club is a move that Williams believes has aided preparation for progressing into GB’s game day roster for the first time:
“Yeah, for sure. Being on an international stage and in European competition is always a good thing. I’m just thankful that I’ve got the opportunity and I’ll grow with it. It’s a different style of basketball [compared to playing domestically]. The BBL is more free flowing and more NBA-style basketball, whereas Europe is more structured, slowing the ball down and running plays.”
On top of earning his first cap for GB Men, Williams’ adaptability made him a front-runner for GB’s adventures into the world of 3×3 over the summer, too.
Initially named in Julius Joseph’s Senior squad for the FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup qualifiers, the young Lion eventually had to pull out due to injury, but his skillset makes him a perfect fit for the small-sided version of the game which he will surely have an opportunity to contest in the future.