Eric Williams: Fighting Failure and Overcoming Adversity

A basketball in H.J. Long Gymnasium the home of Greenville basketball. Source: Daniel Martinez

Many people in the world look at failure as this bad thing that hinders their lives. However, there are others who are strong and look at failure as motivation and use it to overcome adversity. Eric Williams is someone who used his failure as motivation and it helped him become the star basketball player he is!

Williams shooting the ball. Source: Greenville Athletics

“Coming in at guard all the way from Memphis Tennessee, standing at 6 foot 5, weighing in at 190 pounds, Greenville’s number four ERIC WILLIAMS!” The Memphis Tennessee product graduated from Ridgeway High School back in 2016. He actually discovered his love for the game during his sophomore year at Ridgeway. Williams found his love through adversity when he didn’t make the varsity team that tenth-grade year. The moment he tasted a piece of failure, he realized that he wanted to take this seriously and do something with it.

Growing up, Williams has probably tried every sport you can think of besides golf and tennis. He felt like basketball was easier especially for him being so tall and athletic. Because of that failure he endured in high school, he realized that he had to get better every day. Williams stated, “I just want to get better every day and be better than I was yesterday.”

Williams with the fast break dunk! Source: Darrin Stewart

Before coming to Greenville University, Williams was a student at Sandburg Community College. He was recruited by Greenville while he was at Sandburg and he realized Greenville was the place for him because of the environment within the team. Williams and Coach George Barber have a solid relationship. Coach Barber has supported Williams during the highs and the lows. That support was something Williams felt from the start. He also explained that the environment of the GU basketball team is energetic and fun to be around. Because of the support and energy of the team, Williams knew Greenville was the place he wanted to continue his athletics and academics.

A recap of the 200 point game where Williams went off! Source: GU Panthers Twitter

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The GU basketball team is known for being a fast-paced team that scores most of their points from behind the three-point line. This past season Williams averaged an outstanding 23 ppg (points per game) and shot 52 percent from the field. This past season he was a part of the record-breaking Panther team that scored 200 points in a single college basketball game. When explaining the story behind the game, he stated that the goal was to just go out and have fun shooting a ton of threes. The Panther basketball team made 73 of 154 field goal attempts including 33 of 91 three-pointers. It was also Williams best game of the season scoring 38 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. For those who play NBA 2K, Williams said the game sliders were definitely up that night!

For a guy that didn’t make the varsity team in high school, Williams is a pretty good basketball player and many might wonder how did he get so good? Failure is the answer. He mentioned that ever since he felt the disappointment of not making the varsity team, he’s never wanted to go back to feeling like that ever again. He is motivated to push himself every day because of that fear of failure.

Williams has a major role on the team as a leader. He is always sure to not only hold his teammates accountable but himself as well. Being both a vocal leader and a leader by example. You would expect a player to help his team out for his upcoming season by working harder to better his physical skills, but Williams is a different breed. He’s not only been working on his physical skills on the court, but he has also been reading books on how to become a better leader for his final season as a Panther. It will be a challenge losing key players like Johari Dix, Isiah Price, Josias Parker, and more. However, he is looking forward to the challenge.

Williams with the flashy pass! Source: Darrin Stewart

Williams compares himself to NBA player Victor Oladipo, both wearing jersey #4. Oladipo is someone he follows and he has actually had personal conversations with him when running into him in Miami. Oladipo told Williams what it takes to get to the next level by spreading his wisdom. After graduating, the first thing on Williams’ mind is playing overseas. His dream job is to be a high school coach, wanting to be the reason players/student-athletes are playing at a good D1 school or at any level. He wants to give kids the chance to compete at a high level and have fun with it as he does.

We look forward to seeing Williams dominate his final season as a Greenville Panther while being a role model both on and off the court to players and students all around campus. As Williams would say, “IT’S BAG SEASON!”

Media by: Daniel Martinez


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