The Golden Rams’ 2006 season ended frustratingly early after a controversial non call on a potential game winning shot by Donnell Butler clanged off the iron. Immediately after that heartbreaker Head Coach Dick Delaney turned to his leaders to make sure this team did not let the hangover of such a bitter defeat linger into the off-season and beyond. Unfortunately for the winningest coach in school history, a void would be left with both captains graduating that May. For Delaney there were several personalities inside the locker room who would be more then suited to lead his team this season and into the future. Yet one player stuck out to Delaney and his players as well, and he is senior forward, Aaron Williams. From Philadelphia, he made his bones on some of the top playground courts in the nation. A self proclaimed “street baller” by nature, Williams has refined his game and become one of the top players in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
You can look at the numbers and find that Williams leads the PSAC in field goal percentage (.647), is second in rebounds (10.1 per game), and leads the Golden Rams in scoring, averaging just over 14 points per game. But those numbers do not even come close to telling the story of Williams’ impact on this team both on and off the court.
“I think I consider myself a leader, but I don’t do a lot of talking I’d much rather lead by example out on the court,” Williams said. That leadership is starting to rub off on the young players on this roster and it is made very evident to anyone who has seen this team play at Hollinger Field House this season.
Delaney has entrusted his offense to freshman point guard, Kenneth St. George, and both pointed towards Williams as one of the leaders of this club. It is quite obvious that his work ethic and on court leadership has rubbed off on the young point guard. There were several times in the first half that St. George was imploring his team to step up their game against the Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cats. In one of the gutsiest plays of that evening, St. George peeled himself off the floor after taking a hard shot from a UPJ defender, ran off of a high screen and hit a runner with one second remaining on the shot clock, all but sealing the Golden Rams’ victory.
It is obvious that as this team enters the meat of it’s schedule with dates with Cheyney, Mansfield and Bloomsburg on the horizon, that in terms of leadership this team has plenty. Williams will be called upon to match up against some of the toughest big men in the league in coming weeks, and if past performance is any indication, then the Golden Rams seem to have found a reliable presence on the inside.
Matt Lombardo hosts a weekly Sports Talk Radio Show on 91.7 WCUR and online at www.wcur.fm Saturday’s from noon-2:00 p.m.