Athlete of the Week Archive

Feb. 24, 2006


Justin Williams

Being from Chicago, are you a Cubs fan or White Sox fan?
"Definitely a Cubs fan."

What other hobbies do you have other than basketball?
"I like to play video games and sleep."

You had an extremely successful Junior College career; why did you decide to come to Wyoming?
"Well I have always gone with the decision that I felt was the best for me. I visited Auburn and DePaul and the last visit I chose was here (UW). Initially a lot of people had me sold on going to DePaul, but I saw this as a conference (Mountain West) where I could come in and almost do the same thing I did in Junior College and maybe impress some NBA people."

How well did you handle the transition from Junior College to Division-IA?
"I handled it pretty well. My Junior College was in a pretty small town (Colby, Kansas). It wasn't like I was going from Chicago to Laramie. I was in a very small town for two years so that helped out a lot. The main thing that I had to learn when I got here was to play hard all the time and everything else took care of itself."

What has been the highlight of your career as a member of the Cowboy Basketball team?
"My favorite memory so far would have to be last year when we beat New Mexico at home. It was just a really hard fought game and we really had to fight to win that one. Senior Night last year was also really special. It was real emotional for me just seeing Jay (Straight) and how much he had achieved and accomplished here and him playing his final home game. As emotional as it was for him, it was almost as emotional for me."

What's your major?

In just two years you have broken the Mountain West all-time blocked shots record and you are on pace to break Theo Ratliff's single season blocked shot record. Is this something you think about?
"It was at first, but I kind of stopped thinking about it after I started getting one and two a game (blocked shots). But then I got eleven in one game. I'm not saying I think about it all the time or anything. It's just something that a lot of people want me to achieve, family and friends wise. I wouldn't say I'm doing it more for myself. I just want to win games and not let my teammates down."

Where is the toughest place you have had to play since you have been at UW?
"I would have to say last year at The Pit in New Mexico. They were having a better season last year than they are this year. They were on like a 19 home game win streak and I just remember being in warm-ups and I was soaking wet, so I would say that was the best atmosphere."

You have faced some of the toughest big men in the nation over the past two years, who stands out as being the best you have played against?
"Well, obviously Andrew Bogut. He was # 1 overall draft pick and you can't say too much about that. Me personally, besides Bogut, I am going to have to say Danny Granger (New Mexico) because of his all around game. I knew he was going to be a great pro. I didn't know how well Andrew Bogut would do in the Pros, but I was always pretty confident Danny would have a great career."