From left, Westover star and state high-jump champ Brandon Hudson, former Dougherty super-scorer and Herald Super 6er Arabian Williams and Wilcox County’s D.J. Lawson sign with Albany Tech on Thursday.
ALBANY — Westover’s Brandon Hudson and Dougherty’s Arabian Williams have gone head-to-head for years on the basketball court.
That cross-town rivalry ended Thursday when the two guards signed letters-of-intent to play basketball at Albany Tech — a decision that both players couldn’t stop beaming about.
“I still get to play in front of my hometown, and I’ll have a lot of support,” Hudson said.
Hudson then glanced over at Williams and smiled again: “I’m glad I won’t have to guard him anymore. It’s going to be nice to play with him, because he’s the best point guard I saw in high school.”
Wilcox County’s D.J. Lawson, the brother of former Albany Tech player and current Albany State star Justin Wilcox, also officially signed Thursday, while Albany Tech coach Sylvester Patterson announced the signings of four more future Titan basketball players: 6-foot-8 Devery Rickmon (Frederick, Md.), 6-9 Joseph Screws (Barbour County, Ala.), 6-7 Lafonzo Smith (Wayne County, Miss.) and 6-3 Brandon Quarterman (Burke County).
Williams, who played last season at Lawson State (Ala.) Community College, and Hudson are just the latest Southwest Georgia prep stars who have decided to stay in town and play for the Titans, who were led last season by former Westover star and 2009-10 Herald Player of the Year Terrance Noel and former Worth County star Jamorris Gaines.
“These (local) guys are already coming in with a fan base because they bring their fans from their high schools over to college,” Patterson said. “It’s really important to get these (local) players, plus they can play. Arabian is fearless. He plays so hard. If you didn’t know he was (5-9) from watching the game, then you would think he is 6-3 with the way he rebounds and everything. And Brandon is a high-flyer who can get up and down the floor and knock down the open jumper. He plays extremely hard.”
Williams averaged 20 points and 10 assists as a senior two years ago at Dougherty, while Hudson, a 6-2 guard — who just won the Class AAA high jump title two weeks ago at the state track meet — averaged 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks last season at Westover.
Lawson, who was named Wilcox County’s offensive player of the year last season, averaged 18.5 points per game.
“My brother said this was a good program,” said Lawson, who watched Wilcox play plenty at Albany Tech and then last season at Albany State, where he was one of the Rams’ leading scorers. “They play a style of basketball where I can run and play. I knew it would be a good fit for me.”
Patterson has already signed four guards this offseason, adding to what was already a guard-heavy team, which means the Titans will try to push the tempo on both sides of the court next season.
That fast-paced style is exactly what Williams is looking for.
“My dad always told me that there is someone at the game who has never seen you play, so you always have to give it your all every night,” Williams said. “I never go half-speed. I always go hard. Every time I am on the court my dad is on my mind, telling me to go hard.”
And what does Williams’ dad think about his son coming back home to Albany?
“Oh, he was excited,” Williams said. “He was at work (Thursday), so he wasn’t able to be here to watch me sign, but I can’t wait to call him and tell him I did.”