Calhoun County basketball star Marquez Williams, front row, second from left, signs with Tuskegee as he is joined by, front row, from left, mother, Luciana Dunham, stepmother, Geraldine Williams and sister, Jmya, as well as, back row, from left, coach Marcus Shaw, father, Ronnie Williams, A.D. John Williams and assistant coach Kedrione Harris. (Brandon Michael/Special to The Herald)
EDISON — Sometimes you just have to throw up a desperation 3.
That’s kind of what happened to Calhoun County’s Marquez Williams, who can shoot the 3-pointer with anyone at the high school level.
Williams tried out for three or four schools and failed to get a college scholarship, and then when he had just about given up hope, Tuskegee University called.
“I was surprised. I was shocked,’’ said Williams, who signed with Tuskegee on Tuesday.
He was a leader on and off the court for Calhoun County, where he averaged 17 points a game as a junior and 14 points a game as a senior. He also averaged three assists for Calhoun County’s fast-paced offense.
“He was a leader, a guy that guys could count on,’’ Calhoun County coach Marcus Shaw said. “He’s dedicated and was always at practice every single day, working hard. He led the rest of his teammates by example.”
Williams had tryouts with Fort Valley State, Columbus State and others, but it was Tuskegee, a school he knew little about, that offered him a scholarship.
“Coach Shaw and assistant coach (Kedrione) Harris really helped me,’’ Williams said. “I had no idea Tuskegee was interested in me. I was sitting in class when coach Harris came in and told me that I might be going somewhere.’’
That night, Oliver Jones, an assistant with Tuskegee, called Williams.
“He asked me if I was ready to be part of a championship team,’’ Williams said. “And he was joking with me, asking me if I was 5-2. I’m 6-2.’’
Williams has a deadly outside shot and can be an explosive scorer from long range. He had career-high 28-point games on several occasions. Tuskegee will probably use him at the No. 2 shooting guard spot. But Williams was just as valuable as a player his teammates could look up to on and off the court.
“He’s dedicated and was always at practice every single day, working hard,” Shaw said. “He led the rest of his teammates by example.”
Shaw also thinks Tuskegee will be the right place for Williams.
“Tuskegee is a great fit for Marquez,’’ Shaw said. “He’s a hard worker and a good kid, and he won’t have any problem adjusting to life in the classroom or on the court at the next level.”
Williams plans to major in physical therapy.
“I have some classmates who went to Tuskegee, and they told me that it’s a great school to go to,’’ Williams said. “I was planning on just going to Albany Tech or a junior college and trying to play there for two years. I’m really
happy to get the scholarship to Tuskegee.’’