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Family tradition

Sheldon Williams signs with CACC

ECHS standout Sheldon Williams (front row, center) accepted a scholarship offer Monday, April 25, to play for Coastal Alabama Community College in Bay Minette. Joining the new Sun Chiefs signee are, from left, front, his younger brother, Stephen Williams and his mother, Shirley Williams; back, Coach Layton Knight, Dexter Williams, Lue Williams, CACC Coach Robby Robertson.

News Staff Writer

Escambia County High School basketball standout Sheldon Williams continued a family tradition Monday (April 25) by signing a scholarship agreement to play for Coastal Alabama Community College’s Bay Minette campus.
“This will be number 3,” said Shirley Williams before the signing. “I’m kind of glad he selected to play close to home. I truly believe he will shine there, like his brothers did. I’m looking forward to seeing how well he does there.”
The ECHS standout’s two older brothers — Dexter, who went from CACC to Tuskegee University and is trying to earn a contract with a professional team in Europe, and Lue, who was named the Alabama Community College Conference’s Player of the Year this season and earned a Division I scholarship to Tarleton State University in Stephensville, Texas — were also on hand to witness the signing, as was younger brother Stephen, who as a junior already has college recruiters courting him.
“I really like what’s going on,” Dexter Williams said. “We’re 3-for-3, and I know that would make Pops proud. We’ll see where this leads; maybe Sheldon will be the one to hit the big time.”
ECHS Coach Layton Knight, who coached the three younger Williams brothers at Escambia County Middle School, said he had no doubt that Sheldon would earn a college scholarship.
“I knew this day was coming, but I didn’t know I would be his coach when it did,” said Knight of his first player to achieve the goal. “It’s bitter-sweet to me. I’m losing a great player, but (Sun Chiefs) Coach (Robby) Robertson is getting a great player. Sheldon was a finalist for Class 4A Player of the Year, and that’s big in Atmore.”
Robertson spoke briefly at the ceremony, which was also attended by senior members of the school’s boys and girls basketball teams, Principal Amy Cabaniss, Superintendent of Education Michele McClung and several teachers and administrators.
“There are a couple of things we look for in a basketball player,” the CACC coach said. “Obviously, he needs to be a good basketball player, but what separates us from the rest of the conference is, first, academics, which are really important to us, and character. We want to make sure our players do the right thing and make the right decisions.
“We’re excited to have Sheldon in our program. The Williams family has been pretty good for us for 10 straight years.”
The signee, who was pursued by several colleges and universities, said the choice of CACC was an easy one.
“Basically, I was already familiar with the program and know just about everybody there,” he said. “Plus, it’s closer to home.”