Storm bet on young, athletic guard Rahim Williams
August 21, 2018
Story by Thomas Becker Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
It’s hard to overlook the tall, wiry frame of Rahim Williams – especially when he’s soaring in for two-handed slams with relative ease – just ask the Island Storm, who recently locked up the six-foot-six uber-athlete to a deal.
“We were attracted by his potential, especially because of his size and athleticism,” said head coach Tim Kendrick.
Williams fits the mold of the ideal guard in today’s basketball landscape – someone who can play multiple positions simply because of their physique. And it’s one of the reasons why the Storm are taking a closer look at the 24-year-old and what he brings to the court.
“He comes to us with a very high ceiling. We believe he could blossom into a solid player at both ends of the floor with his natural abilities,” Kendrick added.
Williams was a late bloomer and didn’t play competitively until his senior year of high school at Orangeville Prep in Ontario. The gifted athlete was a natural on the hardwood and flirted with a triple-double average – with 18 points, 9.5 rebounds and eight assists a night. If that wasn’t enough already, he also added three blocks per game. At any level, that’s an accomplishment that can’t be dismissed.
“I found so much success because I had great mentors and an amazing team that pushed me each and every day to be better than I was the day before,” he said. “They taught me what it took to get to the next level and the work ethic that had to be maintained day in and day out.”
The Toronto native spent time with State College of Florida, where he put up a respectable 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. But it was the following two seasons at Youngstown State University (2016-17) and Shaw University (2017-18), where things went awry. With the Penguins, Williams’ confidence wavered after a left ankle sprain in the second game of season relegated the starter to a bench role. And as a Bear, Williams played limited minutes and was shuffled in and out of the lineup, which hindered his development. It was trying time to say the least.
“College was a rollercoaster ride. But it taught me some tough lessons and proved time and time again that I needed to mature faster than I thought.”
The silver lining was his two years in Florida and the words of wisdom his mentor and former coach, Elliot Washington, passed along that still hold true.
“He brought me in and showed me the reality of college sports and gave me life lessons about the real world. He gave me an opportunity like no other and I can’t thank him enough,” he said. “It was a great learning experience and he showed me I had the ability to play anywhere, the only person stopping me, was me.”
Good and bad alike, these experiences shaped Williams into the basketball player he is today and now he’s driven more than ever to prove his worth.
“I’ve used the summer to study my game and hone my skills to become an all-around player,” he said. “I have some surprises in store for the fans.”
And the fact that the Island franchise has given him a platform to shine, says a lot about the untapped potential they see in the young man.
“I’m so grateful they took a chance on me and I’ll show them they’ve found a diamond in the rough.”