CATCHING UP WITH JINEEN WILLIAMS
Really interesting article written about me by Peter Jackel of the Racine Journal Times. Although at a young age I was troubled and seen as a young teenager with an anger problem, I beat all odds and stepped up to the plate to give myself a new path and a direction that will ultimately lead into an extraordinary success story. This is one that most inner city student-athletes can relate to and are encouraged to learn from. Read below as Peter Jackl catches up with me and where my life has taken me.
Article featured on Racine Journal Times:
When Jineen Williams packs for her move to Southern California in mid-April, there will be several items she will be careful not to leave behind.
One is her college degree from Concordia-St. Paul University in Minnesota. She also will find room for her basketball awards, which won’t be such an easy undertaking considering her volume of hardware.
“The basketball stuff is meaningful to me because that is part of my identity,” Williams said. “It shows what I’ve accomplished, even though the odds were against me.
“My college degree is the ultimate statement saying that I wasn’t just an athlete, but also a student. It’s a huge accomplishment for me.”
Not too shabby for a 23-year-old woman who might have been written off as a malcontent not too long ago. While Williams demonstrated enormous ability during her career at Case, she also admittedly had attitude issues that worked against her.
Coaches didn’t speak on the record about her attitude at the time, but it was an obvious setback for her when you consider the following:
As a senior at Case during the 2006-07 season, she was instrumental in leading the Eagles to a 19-4 record after they went 8-14 the previous season. Williams tied for first in Racine County in scoring (15.9) and was first in assists (5.4) and steals (4.0) and ninth in rebounding (7.5).
She also fell one vote short of earning first-team Associated Press All-State honors. Yet, while no other player from Racine County earned anything higher than honorable mention All-State that season, Williams was not voted the county’s Player of the Year.
Williams concedes she was, “crushed,” when it happened, but admits to having issues at the time.
“My actions were those of a teenager with an attitude problem,” Williams said. “I would occasionally talk back and roll my eyes at things during practice and games.”
Society can be quick to dismiss kids of this ilk without taking the time to understand them. Williams needed understanding because her attitude issues stemmed from an environment not many people knew about.
One of the biggest reasons she strayed onto a wayward emotional path was the death in 2001 of her father, Jimmie L. Williams, who was her foundation.
“As a teenager, I was troubled because of a lot of things that were going on in my life,” Williams said. “Most of those things caused me to lash out or just be upset all the time. A lot of it had to do with me
being too hard on myself and the loss of my father.
“He was my rock and I didn’t know how to handle losing him, so that frustration played a large part in my emotions and sometimes still does now. Most of the time, I was really misunderstood.”
But here’s what separates Williams from many others who come from similar backgrounds: Instead of pointing fingers and making excuses, Williams decided to become the person she knew she could become.
After an unfulfilling two years at UW-Milwaukee, where she earned an athletic scholarship, Williams transferred to NCAA Division II Concordia-St. Paul in 2009. Call it an epiphany because that’s where Williams truly found herself.
“I made the decision to take a chance and the coaches at Concordia allowed me a second chance,” Williams said. “They showed me what it was like to love basketball again. They showed me what it was like to be happy in so many other aspects of life.”
That happiness produced results. As a junior in 2009-10, Williams led the Golden Bears to a 26-6 record and the third round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament.
It was possibly even more fulfilling her the following year.
“My senior season, we lost our whole team, basically, and started 3-8,” Williams said. “And then we went 15-1 and went back to the NCAA Tournament with a team of six freshmen.”
The upswing has continued. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2011 and started a graphic design business in June 2012. She plans to expand that business when she moves to California.
The bottom line is this: Williams truly beat the odds to write her own success story.
“She really, really has matured,” said Case girls basketball coach Wally Booker, who was an assistant when Williams played at the school. “I thought she was a really good kid because I understood where she was coming from.
“I thought once you got to know her, she was a sweet kid.”
See the online link here.
If you’re a supporter and you live in the area, go grab a copy of that Racine Journal Times newspaper. We’re making history!
~ The Sky is No Longer the Limit – D.A.H. Designs
Written by Jineen Williams