As the Montverde Academy Boys’ Varsity Basketball team travels to New York this week to compete in the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Boys’ National Tournament being held March 31st – April 2nd, Eagles hoops fans are excited that MVA may possibly win their 4thconsecutive championship – but also filled fond memories of past championship victories and the talent it took to capture those victories.
One such former Eagles basketball player was 6-foot-9 power-forward Devin Williams. As a MVA senior in 2013, he helped the Eagles achieve a 25-2 final record after MVA won the 2013 ESPN/Rise National High School Invitational ( MVA’s first national championship) by defeating St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, New Jersey) by the score of 67-65.
In the 2015-2016 NCAA College basketball season, as a junior this year on the West Virginia University Men’s Basketball team, Williams has a monumental season earning second-team All-Big 12 honors, leading the Big 12 in free-throw attempts, and averaging 13.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He also attained a remarkable 16 double-doubles. Devin was also named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball Team with a GPA between 3.00-3.19. Today, Williams announced he will enter the 2016 NBA Draft.
In a recent email interview with George K. Karos, MVA’s Director of Communications, Devin disclosed that his transition from high school to university life was facilitated by the positive experiences he had as a MVA boarding student – especially knowing how to properly manage his time in order to become a successful college student-athlete in the classroom as well as on the basketball court.
Devin’s decision to attend WVU was influenced by his close relationship with his mother and Mountaineers Head Coach Bob Huggins and Assistant Coach Erik Martin. With the constant support of these individuals, Williams further developed positive attributes that lead to success as an individual and student: Strong work ethic, personal sacrifice, and the ability to set attainable goals (both long term, and short term).
“Montverde Academy’s curriculum challenged me, and forced me to do more (get a tutor, stay after class, or schedule to see a professor outside of classes) to stay on top of my academics. Keeping my priorities in order: School, basketball, extra time in the gym working on my game, free -me time,” stated Williams. When asked if he had to do all over again, what would he do differently as a student at MVA, Williams replied, “ Nothing. I needed MVA more than MVA needed me…Coach Boyle was very hard at work too. He did a great job helping me find my role within the team,and he opened up his house to me as if I was his own.”
Montverde Academy’s notable basketball alumni population has grown considerably over the last five years – and include Ben Simmons (LSU), D’Angelo Russell (L.A. Lakers), Justin Bibbs (Virginia Tech), Kasey Hill (Florida) and Dakari Johnson (Oklahoma City Blue – NBA D-League), to name a few. And Williams is very appreciative of his development time with his former MVA teammates. Devin has advice for current MVA student-athletes too. He shared, “All of those guys I went against helped me grow so much on the court,and pushed me to want to be better than them. And If you are a student athlete now – enjoy high school sports while you can. College athletics is a job, and with the responsibilities (academics, team functions, community service, travel, media ) and it can be an overwhelming your 1st year. If you are a student, maybe find something else you might be interested aside from academics? A hobby, or job on the side. In college you will have more free time because of the format of when you attend your classes (MWF/TTH).”