Once Carolyn Kieger decided to leave Marquette women’s basketball for Penn State, it was really probably only a matter of time before Shemera Williams ended up going somewhere else for college. On Tuesday, Williams announced her decision to attend Virginia starting in the fall.
She had committed to Marquette back in November, shortly before the fall signing period began. Williams, who attends Milwaukee Academy of Science, just up the street from Marquette, averaged a state high 32.5 points per game as a senior, adding 10.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 4.5 steals each time out. Believe it or not, her scoring, rebounding, and stealing are all down from last year, while her assists bounced back from a career low of 7.8 per game as a junior.
Honestly, typing “a career low of 7.8 assists per game” is fun because that’s INSANE.
Williams was the crown jewel of the recruiting class that Carolyn Kieger assembled to replace the five core seniors that re-invented Marquette basketball under her direction over the past four years. Between her ability to do nearly anything on the floor and her hometown status, Williams was going to be a if not the key cog in continuing the program forward with Kieger at the helm.
Instead, Kieger is in Happy Valley now, and Megan Duffy is in charge of steering the ship. Duffy, along with continuing assistant coaches Vernette Skeete and Scott Merritt, made an attempt to keep Williams in the nest, but she has to make the best choice for her future. In his article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Williams’ decision, Ben Steele alluded to recent events in Milwaukee that led Williams to look to leave the city. Here’s her exact quote on the idea:
“I think I just want to have a fresh start,” she said. “Start a new journey and just have fun doing it. And I think it will be best for me to get out of the city.”
Williams was familiar with UVa head coach Tina Thompson from her original recruiting process, not to mention Thompson’s WNBA career and USA Basketball success, so it only makes sense that Williams went in that direction. While it would have been amazing to watch her succeed while wearing blue and gold, we here at Anonymous Eagle wish Williams nothing but the best in Charlottesville.
Here’s what Marquette’s scholarship situation looks like for now. Until told otherwise, I’m presuming that the remaining six recruits are still planning on attending MU for the 2019-20 school year. Of the six, only Destiny Strother has publicly been released from her letter of intent, but that was also a month ago. As far as I can tell, she hasn’t made a choice to go anywhere else.
UPDATE [5/22/19, 3:13pm]: Ben Steele got a chance to talk with Megan Duffy and confirmed that all six recruits — Claire Kaifes, Jordan King, Nirel Lougbo, Destiny Strother, Camryn Taylor, and Taylor Valladay — are all on board for 2019-20 at Marquette. Go check out Ben’s article, as Duffy has comments on each of the six women.