February 17, 2007 - by

Junior Shante Williams Makes It Work

Feb. 17, 2007



By Ben Murphy, FSU Sports Information


College athletes throughout the nation deal with having to balance their schedules around class and their respective sports. For junior Shante Williams though, it is not only about school and basketball.


It was at a young age that the Jacksonville native stumbled upon her passion. When she was seven years old, she was a cheerleader. At practice she would find herself always watching, interested and amused at the other kids playing basketball inside the gym.


“They always looked like they were having so much fun,” Williams said.


She proceeded to find a way out of cheerleading and onto the court even if it was by telling a little fib.


“I lied to my cheerleading coach and said that my mom told me I could not cheer anymore,” Williams said.


Basketball was in her blood.


“My grandparents played and my parents as well,” Williams said. “I guess you could say basketball was in my genes.”


That was it. From that day forward, it has been all about basketball. She was a basketball player. Florida State showed great interest in Williams throughout her high school career and the 5-7 guard was a significant addition to the Seminoles.


“The family atmosphere here at Florida State was a big reason that affected my decision to come play here,” Williams said.


On her visit to Tallahassee, Williams actually got the chance to talk with former Florida State and current New York Jets running back Leon Washington and that too, helped determine her decision to be a Seminole.


“He let me know how well the program treated him and took him in,” Williams said of her conversation with Washington.


After leading her high school team to an incredible four straight state titles, there was no let down for Williams upon arriving at Florida State. Right from the start her impact was felt. Williams started 27 of the 30 games her freshman season averaging a solid 10.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and team high 5.1 assists per game. She was awarded honorable mention for the All-Atlantic Coast Conference and was named to the five-member Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman team.


Following that year, Williams sat out the next season as she embarked upon an even greater passion, a new baby boy, her son George. In preparation for her return to the court, Williams knew managing her time would be tough and things were going to change. Taking care of the baby and all of her other responsibilities would not come easy and getting back into game shape was another challenge she would have to face.


“I have a great support system at home with my son’s father and my parents as well,” Williams said. “If there are ever any problems, my mom will drive over and get my boy if needed. My coaches are also very good in accommodating me the best way they can.”


These days, Williams is very busy. Trying to enjoy the college life can be difficult at times with so much going on, but she is managing.


“I have a really crazy schedule right now,” she said.


She goes to school five days a week, has two classes a day, plus study hall and practice. Then, of course, there are the games.


“My mom comes to watch George while I’m playing,” Williams said. “Before every game though, I have a talk with my son, no matter if it is on the phone or in person, I have to hear his voice because that is my inspiration.”


Off of the court, Williams has really focused on her criminology major.


“I grew up around crime and violence,” Williams said. “Eventually working in this field is a dream of mine and I would like to make changes in people’s lives.”


She has a few ideas about what she wants to pursue, career-wise, in the future, but has her mind set on one area.


Ultimately, I really hope to be a detective one day,” she said. “That would be great!”


Although there is not much time for television in her life, every once in a while when some time frees up, Williams likes to catch an episode of Law and Order.


“I love to solve crimes and mysteries, it is my favorite show,” she said.


So for Shante Williams, times are good. She is enjoying a productive year, averaging 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and a team leading 4.3 assists and the team is one of the top team’s in the ACC and in good sitting for another chance at an NCAA Tournament berth.


Yes, life can be somewhat challenging for Williams with school, playing basketball and caring for her son, but she refuses to let it stop her and is making it work.



 

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