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Hagerstown native shines at Seton Hall

Williams averaging 14.2 points a game as Pirates start 13-6

Williams averaging 14.2 points a game as Pirates start 13-6

January 25, 2009|By Tim Koelble

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- In another 10 years, Ebonie Williams might well be a high-level executive at a music record company, but for the time being, she's busy spinning a tune as a sophomore on the Seton Hall University women's basketball team.

Although Williams, 20, planned to begin her high school years playing basketball locally, a summer camp changed her direction and off she went.

Williams, a Hagerstown native, went to Eastern Elementary and then to Northern Middle School, with high school decisions ahead of her.

"I was looking to go to Broadfording or St. Maria Goretti and ended up going to Broadfording, but I didn't like it," said Williams.

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During the summer, she attended a basketball camp conducted by former WNBA star Nikki Teasley and met Mike Teasley, at the time the boys coach at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Va.

"We talked and built a relationship and he was going to become the girls coach," said Williams. "I was always told I was going to be good and I ended up at Notre Dame."

Her four years at Notre Dame were highly successful. She was part of a 105-11 record that included a 29-1 season and a No. 5 national ranking by USA Today in her senior year, in which she was named The Washington Post Player of the Year.

"Coach Teasley was an evaluator of talent," said Williams. "He knows everybody and at the end of the first year he had people coming to look at me."

Williams found out game time wasn't the only part of the recruiting process.

"College coaches would come to practice in the preseason and that time was as important as the games were," Williams said. "They were tough practices."

Seton Hall head coach Phyllis Mangina was among those making the high school visits.

"The first thing I saw in Ebonie was how competitive of a kid she was," said Mangina. "I spotted her right away. Her skill level, well, she has a great acumen for the game."

Williams is the second-leading scorer for Seton Hall at 14.2 points per game. She also averages three rebounds, three steals and three assists, and leads the team in 3-point shooting with 34 makes, hitting 39 percent. The Pirates are 13-6.

"Sometimes I forget she is just in the middle of her sophomore year," said Mangina. "It took her a short time to adjust to the college game."

Williams' choice in attending Seton Hall might well have hinged on its proximity, being 15 minutes away from New York City in South Orange, N.J.

"I wanted to go somewhere where I could start a career and live, and it was only 15 minutes away from the city," Williams said.

Music is an outlet for her and could well be her future.

"I want to go into the entertainment field, the music industry in management or publilc relations," said Williams, who has a summer internship ahead of her at Universal Records. "I love music."

However, Williams did indicate that should an opportunity arise to play professionally in a couple of years, she would take it up, whether in the WNBA or overseas.

"I've worked hard and I'm happy with progress I've made," she said.

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