Troy’s Story

topfinal_troywilliams

Unorthodox and clumsy to a star in the making

As Troy got older, he started to pay more attention to NBA and college basketball, and he began to enjoy the game more. He closely followed the career of Hampton-born Allen Iverson, a player Troy says he and all his friends so desperately wanted to be like.

“When I went to Phoebus, we played against his high school a lot,” Troy says. “My part of Virginia always paid close attention to him and everybody looked up to him. Even when he went to the braids, everybody grew their braids out. They used to cut off one of their socks and wear it as a sleeve and everything.”

Even though Troy never went with the braided look — “my mom would never let me,” he says — watching Iverson motivated him to work on his game and become an elite player. And when he started having more success on the court, that didn’t hurt, either.

When he was 15, Troy played up on Boo’s AAU team that included guys like former North Carolina guard Kendall Marshall and Duke guard Andre Dawkins.

“We played against Austin Rivers’ team, and that’s when I really got my name out there,” Troy says. “I had three back-to-back 3s and a steal and a layup.”

That’s when everything started to change for Troy. In between his freshman and sophomore years, he grew nearly five inches and suddenly jumped onto plenty of recruiting boards. Basketball wasn’t just fun and games anymore. It was something that could give Troy a future.

“My athleticism I got out of nowhere,” Troy says. “That’s when I really started liking basketball and when I realized maybe this is something I want to do all my life.”

‘He just played around in class’

012513uyTroy got significantly more playing time his sophomore and junior seasons at Phoebus, and basketball was going well. But he wasn’t taking his schoolwork all that seriously, and his family couldn’t seem to change his mindset.

“Once you step into the next level, you have to be as competitive in class as you are on the basketball court,” Ms. Williams says. “It just didn’t seem to be there. He just played around a lot in class.”

“He felt making C’s were great,” Patty says. “He thought a C was good. No, it’s not.”

Boo, Patty and Ms. Williams got together to talk about ways to get Troy to take his education seriously. Boo proposed Oak Hill, a small private school with little more than 100 kids that would force Troy to move away from home and grow up.

After Patty and Ms. Williams spent some time talking to Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, the decision was made — Troy would transfer for his senior year.

“We saw too many players that left from Phoebus and ended up having to come back within the first year because they couldn’t keep up with their grades and basketball,” says Patty, who is currently working to earn a degree from an online college.

The decision made sense on multiple levels for Troy, and it looks like a good move now. Patty says Troy was on the ‘B’ Honor Roll for the first eight weeks and the ‘A’ Honor Roll for the second eight weeks. Currently, Troy has six A’s and one B.

Plus, the transfer gave Troy more national exposure to college coaches and programs, such as Indiana coach Tom Crean, who eventually signed him. But Troy wasn’t fond of the decision at the time. He didn’t want to leave home.

“I was like the hometown hero in Hampton and at my school,” Troy says. “I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to leave all my friends and all my family. But after I thought about it and talked to my cousin about it, I started to find out more about the history like who came through here. I just decided to agree to disagree.”

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  • 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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