Feature Friday: George Williams, Professional Basketball Player and Global Citizen
Our next Feature Friday is George Williams. A Hooper since the age of four, George is the true definition of a globetrotter. Read as George takes us on his journey across the world to pursue his dreams as a professional basketball player.
Q: Where and when did you start playing basketball? Was there someone you looked up to?
George: I grew up in Houston, Texas. I started playing basketball around the age of four or five. I wanted to hang out with my older brother so he kind of put the ball in my hands. Growing up as a kid I remember I was a huge Shawn Kemp and Charles Barkley fan...no idea why. I then grew to cut my socks and make arm sleeves when I went through my Allen Iverson phase.
Q: When was the moment you knew you could play basketball at a professional level?
George: Around my sophomore year in high school I received a lot of attention from top-tier, Division 1 schools which lead me to believe I could go pro one day.
Q: If you could pick one place to play, which place and why
George: Basketball has taken me all over the world. I’ve played in almost every continent on the planet. Some of the cities include; Mexico, Canada, Oman, England, Egypt, Iraq, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Lebanon, Belize and the list goes on… Out of all of them, if I had to choose one to play in other than the U.S. it would be Mexico. I spent a lot of time there learning the language and the culture. I love the food!
Q: You started @playingoverseas on Instagram. The page brings awareness to the realities of playing professional basketball overseas. If you had one message to aspiring professional players planning to play overseas, what would that be?
George: If I could give one message to someone aspiring to play overseas it would be NEVER LOSE YOUR CONFIDENCE!!!! I believe that comes from staying in the gym and working on your game. It will take you a long way.
Q: What's the best part and the worst part of playing overseas?
George: Best part of playing overseas is being able to travel the world, experience different cultures and ways of life while being paid doing what you love. Worst part would be TIME. Time doesn’t stop when you leave your family and loved ones. Life goes on and you miss so many life events that you can never get back. I’ve lost my sister and my father while being away pursuing this dream. That’s time I could never get back.
What's next for you and where are you hoping to play next season?
George: I honestly don’t know. My season just finished here in Kurdistan. I’ll take a couple days off and get right back in the gym and wait for my agent to call with another contract and opportunity. The grind never stops.
Want to see what George and other are doing overseas to grow the game of basketball?