Troy’s Story

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Growing up without a father

012513aTroy Williams never knew his father, Yhosef Ware, and Troy’s mother says she hasn’t seen Ware since Troy was eight days old. Ware was a member of the military stationed at the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, and he and Patty Williams struck up a relationship.

“We were together almost two years,” Patty says. “And once I had Troy, he got out of the service. I didn’t know where he was and child support couldn’t find him. … He wanted to take Troy to Michigan to meet his parents and I told him, ‘You’re not taking my son anywhere without me.’ That just wasn’t gonna happen. I don’t know if he caught an attitude about that or what, but I just didn’t see him again. I figured if his parents want to see him, they can come here.”

The way Ware sees it, he had no choice but to leave. He says he was 19 at the time — Patty was 28. Ware described himself as “young and wild,” and those wild ways eventually forced him to leave the military. He says he tried to find another job in Virginia, but was not successful. On Dec. 15, 1995 — nearly a full year after Troy was born — Ware says he moved back home to Michigan.

“When I would go back to Virginia to visit, I never could find her again,” Ware says. “I never had her number, her address or nothing. All the years that I’ve tried to get in touch with them, I finally got in touch with them [a couple years ago]. I’ve always tried, but with my financial circumstances, I had to leave.”

Ware, now married with another son and still living in Michigan, found Patty’s phone number a couple of years ago and connected with Troy for the first time. He wanted a chance to be part of Troy’s life.

“I said, ‘You know what, Troy’s old enough now to decide what he wants to do,'” Patty recalls. “So I called Troy, and I said, ‘Look, son, I talked to your father. I said, ‘Do you want his number, or do you want me to give him your number?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, what do you think I should do?’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll give him your number.’ So I gave him Troy’s number and they talked. Troy’s proud of where he’s gone and the things that he’s done, so he was telling him about it and where to go on the Internet and YouTube and where to see his highlight things at. When Troy made his decision to go to Indiana, I asked him, ‘Did you call your father, did you tell him?’ Troy said, ‘I don’t have anything to say to him. We have nothing to talk about.'”

“That’s when my name was on ESPN and all that,” Troy says. “Somehow he contacted my mom and contacted me, but I was never into it. After 13, 14, 15 years and then you just want to call now because you see I got my name out there? I didn’t pay too much attention to it.”

[Note: When told Troy had committed to play basketball at Indiana, Ware was both surprised and pleased. He says he bragged to a co-worker about Troy just a few days ago.]

‘The quiet kid who didn’t really have much’

A younger Troy and his uncle, Boo

A younger Troy and his uncle, Boo

Faced with raising Troy as a single mother, Patty had a difficult time making things work financially. She worked various fast-food jobs, but eventually she and her family made a decision they felt was best for Troy.

When he was in the fifth grade, Troy moved away from his mother and moved in with his grandmother in what Troy described as a “middle-class neighborhood” seven blocks away. It gave Troy a better living situation and it allowed his mother to get a job and earn money without the responsibility of raising a son full time.

“Growing up, me and my mother wasn’t the richest,” Troy says. “My uncle wasn’t who he was just yet. It was really more of a money issue. I wasn’t always getting as much stuff as I have now like shoes and clothes. I was more of the quiet kid who didn’t really have much. Moving in with my grandmother, it was just an easier life for me.”

“There was some things I had to get together in my life and get myself together, and that was the best thing for him,” Patty says. “We stayed in contact every single day and I saw him every single day, but there was just some things in my life that I had to get together. And I did.”

It didn’t take Troy long to adjust to his new home. After all, he and his mother had regularly made trips to his grandmother’s house on the weekends for church and family time. Troy had friends there, and his grandmother treated him well.

“She babied me even more than my mom did,” Troy says. “She used to tell my uncle when I didn’t want to do something. I never wanted to speak for myself. Me and my grandma grew real close together, and me and my mom grew even closer together.”

Even though his father wasn’t part of his life, Troy was never lacking in the family department. His aunt Terri and cousin, Brooke Williams, visited occasionally and were always willing to talk if he had a question. Troy says he often sits up on Twitter late at night tweeting back and forth with Brooke.

“That’s like my closest friend,” he says.

And then of course there’s his uncle Boo, who played a large role not only in introducing Troy to basketball but also in helping him become a man. Boo stays plenty busy running his AAU program and working his day job at State Farm, but he’s always made sure to find time to talk to and visit his nephew.

“My uncle was my father figure,” Troy says. “He still is. I think he always will be. He grew me up, showed me how to mature and all that. He taught me new things and taught me right from wrong. He’s replaced my father with himself. When I go through mental stuff or I just have a question, I either go to him and then my Aunt Terri.”

But perhaps no relationship was closer than the one Troy formed with his grandmother. When he goes back home on visits from Oak Hill Academy now, Troy still stays at his grandmother’s house.

“It was good for me,” Ms. Williams says. “All my kids had moved out and everything. It was company.”

“There was just no getting him out of that house and moving him back in with me,” Patty says. “There was no splitting those two up. Now they fight like cats and dogs, but one can’t do without the other.”

  • marcusgresham

    Oh, you’ve misunderstood what Jack was saying because you haven’t been around here for a while.
    He wasn’t disparaging you, Troy, or Boo at all. He was saying that in reference to the NCAA’s railroading job of the two current players on the roster who had to sit out nine games for receiving what the NCAA determined to be “impermissible benefits” even though the man providing them was a legal guardian.
    I don’t think he was making a negative comment about you or your family at all.

  • marcusgresham

    Isn’t Stanford Robinson also originally from Virginia, or is he a Maryland native (prior to going to prep school; I know he’s not there now.)

  • marcusgresham

    Has Crean ever before had a hyper-athletic wing who played defense like a fresh spider web but needed to work on his jump shot? Oh, that Oladipo kid. He turned out OK didn’t he? Shoots pretty well from what I’ve been hearing.

  • marcusgresham

    Has Crean ever before had a hyper-athletic wing who played defense like a fresh spider web but needed to work on his jump shot? Oh, that Oladipo kid. He turned out OK didn’t he? Shoots pretty well from what I’ve been hearing.

  • inLinE6

    I don’t see a problem here. Boo Williams is his legal guardian but not considered a booster for Indiana University.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Forgot to mention – long time Hoosier fan here from Toronto. Love this site and all it provides to this Hoosier fanatic. Also enjoy the message boards and the depth of comments and understanding of the game and all things IU. Kill Purdue tomorrow!

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Great to see Troy is the product of such a sound background and upbringing. No doubt he will flourish in the Cream and Crimson.

  • http://www.facebook.com/salvatore.b.amadeo Salvatore Amadeo

    great article Justin. thank you for sharing it with us

  • http://www.facebook.com/salvatore.b.amadeo Salvatore Amadeo

    great article Justin. thank you for sharing it with us

  • unclekerfuffle

    Ms. Williams:
    Based on what I have read about your son, he should be a very good fit in B’town–high character, strong work ethic and an obvious understanding about the importance of family.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    And about that shooting …… We know how to fix that at IU !

  • sghoosier

    Beautifully written Justin! A human piece which ultimately is what life is all about.

  • HoosierPat

    Bump up that shooting percentage and Troy is going to be one tough guy to guard.

  • Colonel

    Welcome to the Hoosier family Ms. Williams.

  • repairmanjack

    Ms. Williams, Welcome aboard. Please bear with us, we can be a rough crowd some days. As to your son, he sounds like the right type of young man for us. I can only speak for myself, I like good b-ball players, but I like kids who when it is all said and done (regaurdless of how they turn out as a Basketball player), I would be proud of if they were my son.

  • repairmanjack

    Ms. Williams this was not ment to be detrimental to you or your son and I have no problem with the circumstances. My problem is just with the way the NCAA finds some of the dumbest rulings that end up hurting young men, their families and the teams/fans that support them. We had two young men this season who were hurt by one of their rulings and it was thru no fault of their own (or anyone elses for that matter, but the NCAA’s).

  • marcusgresham

    Are you a big enough IU fan that you refer to the Maple Leaf flag as being “cream and crimson”?

  • marcusgresham

    Are you a big enough IU fan that you refer to the Maple Leaf flag as being “cream and crimson”?

  • Geoff_85

    Yeah, the NCAA has not only this entire fan base on it’s toes, but every fan base on their toes. See Jay Bilas and his Twitter for more information on that. What they did to Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin was an absolute travesty. Kids and families that had no part in any wrongdoing. The NCAA is making an absolute mockery of itself and they should be ashamed for what they’ve done to these kids with their ridiculous rulings. Having said that, I am not in the least bit worried about Troy Williams. I say that not only about eligibility, but also about his ability on the court. This kid is going to continue to make his family proud! This kid fills it up on one of the best high school teams in the country. Leads in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. How is he not a top ten recruit???

  • Geoff_85

    This was an absolutely fantastic read. Um, can you please do this for every recruit? Lol, just kidding! Kind of..

  • Geoff_85

    We would expect no less from a kid that Coach Crean thinks so highly of. These are the kinds of kids that he wants and we (as a fan base) want at Indiana University – loving family, high moral character, good choices, great in the classroom. He’s a perfect fit. I think I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to see him in action next year!

  • Geoff_85

    We would expect no less from a kid that Coach Crean thinks so highly of. These are the kinds of kids that he wants and we (as a fan base) want at Indiana University – loving family, high moral character, good choices, great in the classroom. He’s a perfect fit. I think I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to see him in action next year!

  • kennygeorge

    after reading this story 3 times, I am just so thankful for a young man like Troy to represent us. A world class person. Our future at IU is bright, but more importantly our future as a COUNTRY is brighter with young men like Troy Wiliams. God Bless his family and Troy. May you enjoy health, happiness, and a good life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/efoy.mcnaughton E Foy McNaughton

    I would just like tot hank Inside the Hall for this website. It is a great gift to all of us who follow Indiana Basketall. Stories like this one give us a unique insight into the player’s backgrounds. Thank you Inside the Hall.

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