I remember what it was like to be a teenager during these hot summers in Shreveport-Bossier. It was all about hanging out. Going to summer school (for the fun of it), summer league games, and hanging out at McDonald’s. Average teen stuff.
For Mikaylah Williams, nothing is average about her summer.
Don’t get me wrong, Mikaylah does average teenage stuff. She always has her phone. She hangs out with her teammates and friends and she spends time hitting I-20 to watch her little brother Kaleb (an incoming Parkway freshman) play basketball. That’s about as normal as it gets though.
Williams, a soon-to-be Parkway senior, has not had a “typical” teenage summer in a while. As a matter of fact, her summers are ones that we mere mortals dream about.
Last summer, Mikaylah was part of the USA, U18, 3×3 team that brought home a gold medal from the FIBA World Cup. This summer, she is spending time with USA Basketball again as a part of the U17 National team that is vying for the FIBA Women’s World Cup. That’s right! Williams is attempting to win her second gold medal in as many summers.
She and her teammates are off to a good start as they are 3-0 in group play thus far. In those two games, Williams is averaging 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in roughly 18 minutes of play. Team USA will look to be the last team standing July 17 when the tournament concludes, equaling the feat of the U17 men as they captured gold this past week.
For many players, that would be the highlight of the summer. Playing for the United States is considered one of the highest honors imaginable for any athlete.
Again though, we are not talking about an average teenager.
We are talking about the nation’s No. 1 high school female basketball player in the Class of 2023. So, anything she does is newsworthy. Case in point, on June 24 when she dropped a subtle bomb on the prep basketball world, her summer became A-typical again.
With a video featuring childhood pics, clips of her training, and moments with her family, Williams announced to the world that she was committing to LSU.
Not since the early to mid-’90s when Randy Livingston out of Newman in New Orleans committed to play for LSU has a player had as much fanfare. Honestly, Livingston is probably the only state player to equal Williams in accomplishments BEFORE playing for the Tigers.
So, when I say it is Mikaylah Williams’ world, it truly is. When school begins in the fall, she will graduate in the top 10 percent of her class (ranked 20th out of 316) while working to bring Parkway that elusive state championship. Honestly, we better pay attention as we walk through Mikaylah’s world. We may never see the likes of her in Shreveport-Bossier ever again.
Contact Preston at Preston9360@gmail.com