Another week, another big building block in the basketball career of Scott County High School’s Malea Williams.
The 6-foot-3 rising senior, one of the most heavily recruited players in the state, was part of a medal-winning team at a Nike national showcase for the second time this summer.
Williams and her travel team, Kentucky Premier 17U, finished as runner-up Tuesday at the United States Junior Nationals in National Harbor, Maryland.
In divisional play, Kentucky Premier rolled through three consecutive opponents. They took down a team from Atlanta, 60-29, knocked off a foe from Long Island, 59-51; and breezed past one of the host outfits from Maryland, 64-39.
That set up two more pool play wins on Monday afternoon. Premier put away lllinois Elite, 72-58, and rolled into the semifinals with a 69-26 rout of a challenger from Oakland, California.
Tuesday morning’s semifinal game saw Premier douse the Maine Firecrackers, 65-47. Boo Williams AAU of Hampton, Virginia, survived the other side of the bracket with a victory over Philadelphia Belles.
That set up a hard-fought title clash. Premier owned a narrow 32-31 halftime lead, but the Boo crew pulled away for a 64-59 victory and the gold medal.
Scott County’s traveling star isn’t finished enjoying the sights of the nation’s capital district. Williams now plays in the Blue Star Nationals, which started Wednesday and continue through Friday.
Williams averaged a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds per game) for Scott County last season. The Lady Cards won the 11th Region championship for the second consecutive year and reached the quarterfinals of the KHSAA Sweet 16.
Her teammates with Kentucky Premier are: Landyn Collett, South Laurel; Jillian Hayes, Loveland (Ohio); Brooklynn Miles, Franklin County; Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabethtown; Kaiya Wynn, Nashville Ensworth; Marie Kiefer, Bishop Brossart; Maddie Scherr, Ryle; Nangely Garcia, Jeffersonville (Indiana); and Mya Meredith of Covington Scott.
Coaches are Trent Milby, head coach at Berea College, and Anthony Epps, boys’ coach at Campbellsville High, along with David Tapley, Kentucky Premier director, and 16U head coach Nick Cann of Anderson County High School.
Williams recently received offers from Syracuse and Southern Mississippi, adding to a list of more than a dozen major schools in the hunt for her services after SCHS.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.