© Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Angenay Williams, centre, plays her first regular season game tonight. “These girls are happy to have me, the coaches are happy to have me and I am happy to be here,” she said.
Basketball has taken Angenay Williams east, west and now north.
The five-foot-nine forward from Chicago, Ill., has played in Texas, West Virginia and California. Tonight she plays her first regular season game as a member of the UPEI Panthers.
“Basketball has taken me everywhere I’ve been,” Williams said earlier this week before practice. “It was a good thing (because) I got to play against a lot of different types of players.”
She had to sit out the first semester as a transfer student, but is now eligible to play with the Panthers.
“The good thing about sitting out is you get to practice,” she said. “It was like a warm up for me.”
It allowed her to learn the team’s players, coaches and systems in preparation for tonight’s 6 p.m. game with Saint Mary’s.
“I’m excited to get out there on the floor now.”
Williams can play as a post or as a guard. Williams said she can score, pass and rebound, but needs to work on her defence and getting back on the play in transition against the fast-running Canadian teams.
When Greg Gould was hired as the Panthers coach, he reached out to his contacts for potential players.
One of the players he pursed was Williams. After a number of conversations she committed to UPEI.
“I heard about the great coaching of Greg Gould so I just came to try it out.”
Williams played three games with the Panthers at a tournament during the Christmas break.
“She’s played at a pretty high level and she’s very, very competitive,” Gould said.
The Panthers played the tournament without its leading scorer from the first half, Anne Kiberd, due to injury. She was day-to-day this week and Gould was unsure if she would be able to play Saturday.
The Panthers started the first half with two wins before losing five in a row. The Huskies are 6-1 in the Atlantic University Sport standings and ranked fourth nationally. Tonight’s game is worth four points in the standings.
“It’s a big test for me, but I’m excited for it,” Williams said. “I love a challenge and I can’t wait to get on the floor with these girls.”