Good Sports: Roosevelt High hooper Bryson Williams going out on top at UTEP

One of the top high school basketball players to ever come out of the city of Fresno is now playing in his final collegiate season.

Some call Bryson Williams the hardest working guy in the program and probably the hardest working guy at Fresno State.

That work ethic started in the 8th grade for Williams.

Rodney Terry was the Head Coach at Fresno State at the time and began attending his practices. The potential to be a future Bulldog drove Williams to become one of the best high school players in the Valley.

"That school was never known for basketball, the last Valley championship they had was 1979. Coming from Roosevelt that school made me, showed me what hard work was, that gym I was in there for countless hours, that school was everything to me," says Williams.

Williams averaged 34 points and 18 rebounds his senior year leading Roosevelt to a Central Section Division 3 title. He holds not just Roosevelt's all-time scoring record but the city of Fresno's record at 2,302 points.

"He totally dominated that area. When you're able to dominate that area you're able to have carry-over into your freshman season and that's why he was able to come in and play for us at Fresno State. He dominated the high school competition. He never played to that level of competition, so when he was ready to come in at the collegiate level he was already playing at that level," says Rodney Terry.

Bryson joined a Fresno State roster that had just come off its first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 years.

"I was actually at their selection party to see who they were going to play in the first game of the NCAA tournament, they ended up playing Utah. That was a big moment for me just seeing how happy all the players were and satisfying it is to be winning. That was a big thing for me, I just knew that when I get here I want to repeat that," says Williams.

After two seasons at Fresno State Bryson decided to follow Coach Terry in his new coaching position at UTEP in El Paso, Texas.

"He's like a father figure, when I got to Fresno State it was more than just basketball, he helped me fix my whole brand. I came in freshman year sagging my pants, and I'll never forget that he was like, 'You need to tighten up. People have a perception of you before they even meet you'. He pushed me on the court to be a better player, that trust has been there since the first time I met him in 8th grade. That's why I followed him here, I knew the process he had for me was going to be the best thing for me."

After sitting out a year due to transfer rules, Williams had a breakout junior campaign for the Miners. He led the team in scoring and rebounds and was named All-Conference USA First Team.

"He may have even attempted five threes in his time at Fresno State, he attempted 80 last year and made maybe 30 of them. He put a lot of hard work in, and really made himself a guy you have to guard on the perimeter because he can shoot the 3 no problem," says Coach Terry.

The now 6'8" senior ranks as one of the top 45 players in the country for defensive rebounds per game - an area that Coach Terry wants him to continue to improve at if he wants to play at the next level.

"When you talk to him about getting better he really takes it to heart, buys into what you're telling him to do. He's doing that at an elite level for us this year," he says.

Bryson hopes to finish college on a high note and lead UTEP to a conference championship and a NCAA tournament appearance this season.
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