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Williams: College decision is never easy

 

Texas A&M Athletics

Danni Williams is transferring to the University of Texas for her senior season, following three years at Texas A&M. She can transfer without sacrificing a year of eligibility because she graduated in three years.

A lifetime in Clovis transitioned into three years at Texas A&M. Another transition is coming for former Wildcat Danni Williams.

The 2015 Clovis High grad has decided to spend her final college basketball season wearing University of Texas orange. Williams, who received her bachelor's degree in sports management Friday, is taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allows early graduates to transfer without losing a year of eligibility.

Williams, Clovis' all-time leading scorer and the only three-time New Mexico Gatorade girls player of the year winner, answered questions Thursday about her time at A&M and the next step in Austin.

The Longhorns have reached the Sweet 16 the last four years, including its 2016 Elite Eight appearance.

You had originally planned to wait until you graduated to announce where you were going. What changed your timing on it, whether it was in your control or not?

I wanted to get it over with during that time. I felt like the sooner I get it over with, the more I can think about moving to that new place. You know, give myself that extra week to relax and enjoy graduation without so much stress.

What felt right about the Longhorn program?

I felt myself and the coach (Karen Aston) bonded from the start. She's very upfront and honest. She's going to tell you how it is, and I like that. As a player, I think it's an easy adjustment. They have something I want and I bring something they need this year.

How was the campus visit experience different for you as a college student compared to as a high school prospect?

I've kind of seen it, experienced college for three years in basketball and non-basketball experiences. I know what questions matter the most to me, I know what I'm looking for. It felt easier asking the questions. The decision was still hard; it's just as hard the second time around. But the information is easier to get because I knew what to ask.

How much does the process change when you're a known commodity?

For them, it was about what else I could bring to the table and where I could expand my game. Everybody knows what I do best, so it's about what I bring to their system and what they can get out of me in a different way.

Academically, what do you plan to do at Texas, since you have your A&M degree in hand?

I'm planning to get my masters in sports management as well. I want to take advantage of the opportunity. I do have this next year to get a pretty good jump on my masters. If I do go overseas (for pro ball), I won't have as much to worry about.

How do you feel Big 12 basketball will be different compared to SEC ball?

Something different about the Big 12 is teams play different. In the SEC, teams mostly play the same style. Texas, Baylor and West Virginia play a similar style, but you've got other teams that play different defenses. It's going to be an adjustment in scouting. The SEC is similar players and style.

Was there an on- or off-court moment where you decided you wanted to transfer?

I don't think it was in a moment that I knew. I just took some time, reflected, tried to make a well-informed decision about my future. That included the thought of a new experience, and that's what I chose.

Did you see a logjam at the shooting guard position had you stayed with Texas A&M (freshman Chennedy Carter led the Aggies and all freshman with 22.7 points per game last season)?

That didn't factor at all. I wasn't worried about where I'd be playing, or where I'd fit in. I wasn't worried about playing time at A&M.

If you could hop in a time machine and got five minutes to visit with 2014 Danni Williams, before you'd picked a school, what would you say?

I don't know. I feel like everything happens for a reason. I was brought to A&M for a reason, and I believe that. I'd tell myself to look deeper. I thought I did a lot of research, but you never really know what you're getting yourself into until you set foot on that campus. In my three years at A&M, I've grown and matured a lot. Really, it's hard to say (if I'd pick a different road) because you never really know until you're living it every single day.

A year out, what would you say are your odds for a professional basketball career, whether it's WNBA or abroad?

I feel pretty positive and strong about that chance, playing overseas. I hope, making this move to Texas, it could help me with the WNBA to get drafted and compete for a spot. If it's not WNBA, I'll be playing overseas.

 

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