CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – It’s hard to overlook the tall, wiry frame of Rahim Williams – especially when he’s soaring in for two-handed slams with relative ease – just ask the Island Storm brass, who recently locked up the six-foot-six guard to a deal.
“We were attracted by his potential, especially because of his size and athleticism,” said head coach Tim Kendrick.
Williams fits the mould of the ideal guard in today’s basketball landscape – someone who can play multiple positions simply because of their physique. And it’s one of the reasons why the Storm is taking a closer look at the 24-year-old and what he brings to the court.
“He comes to us with a very high ceiling. We believe he could blossom into a solid player at both ends of the floor with his natural abilities,” Kendrick said.
Williams was a late bloomer and didn’t play competitively until his senior year of high school at Orangeville Prep in Ontario. The gifted athlete was a natural on the hardwood and flirted with a triple-double average (18 points, 9.5 rebounds and eight assists). He also added three blocks per game.
“I found so much success because I had great mentors and an amazing team that pushed me each and every day to be better than I was the day before,” Williams said. “They taught me what it took to get to the next level and the work ethic that had to be maintained day in and day out.”
The Toronto native spent time with State College of Florida, where he averaged 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. But it was the following two seasons at Youngstown State (2016-17) and Shaw (2017-18) universities, where things went awry. With the Youngstown State Penguins, Williams’ confidence wavered after a left ankle sprain in the second game of season relegated the starter to a bench role. And as a Shaw Bear, Williams played limited minutes and was shuffled in and out of the lineup, which hindered his development.
“College was a rollercoaster ride, but it taught me some tough lessons and proved time and time again that I needed to mature faster than I thought.”
The silver lining was his two years in Florida and the words of wisdom his mentor and former coach, Elliot Washington, passed along still hold true.
“He brought me in and showed me the reality of college sports and gave me life lessons about the real world. He gave me an opportunity like no other and I can’t thank him enough,” he said. “It was a great learning experience and he showed me I had the ability to play anywhere, the only person stopping me, was me.”
Good and bad alike, the experiences shaped Williams into the basketball player he is today and now he’s driven more than ever to prove his worth.
“I’ve used the summer to study my game and hone my skills to become an all-around player,” he said. “I have some surprises in store for the fans.”
– Compiled by Thomas Becker for Island Storm.
A look at the players the Island Storm has signed and announced for training camp. Teams can have a 12-player roster, including five Canadians, for the regular season.
G Rahim Williams*
G Tyler Scott*
F Dominic Shuler
F Sampson Carter
G Robbie Robinson
F Russell Byrd
G Daniel Gordon*
F Kyle Arsenault*