In Play with Tom Markowski

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Trevion Williams, a dark horse in the race for the 2018 Mr. Basketball Award, is ready to take on more responsibilities

By: Tom Markowski, December 19, 2017, 5:18 pm

Detroit – Belleville, Clarkston, Detroit East English Village Prep, East Lansing and Grand Rapids Catholic Central are all well-known and, most often, formidable boys basketball programs.

Detroit Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies, not so much.

The assumption can be made that many, likely most, who follow high school basketball don’t know where the school is located. Or if they do have never been there. And there’s the possibility that some might confuse the school with Detroit Henry Ford, a longtime member of the Detroit Public School League, or Dearborn Henry Ford Academy, which, like Detroit Henry Ford Academy, is a charter school.

The point is, the five schools mentioned in the first paragraph have a player on their respective boys basketball team who is under consideration by the Basketball Coach Association of Michigan (BCAM) to be named as a candidate for the 2018 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award.

And so does Detroit Henry Ford Academy. His name is Trevion (Tre) Williams and he’s a highly skilled, 6-8 post player who’s comfortable playing on the perimeter as well.

Williams, is somewhat of a hidden gem. He spent his freshman year in Chicago before moving to Detroit with his mother, Shawndra Lewis.

Williams played well his sophomore season before showing noticeable improvement last season as he averaged 22 points and 25 rebounds, and was named MVP in the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference.

What has kept Williams from being a more media friendly player is the fact that he plays for a nondescript school. Detroit Henry Ford Academy (HFA) doesn’t have basketball history. There are those who have said that Williams should have transferred to another school, such as a nearby Detroit PSL power, so he could gain more recognition. The fact that he remained at HFA, and kept the friendships he built, both classmates and teachers, should cause one to applaud his decision not to transfer. Williams saw more positives by remaining at HFA than he did if he had transferred.

Last season schools such as Illinois, Michigan State, UNLV and Xavier had offered him a scholarship. During this past summer more schools began to notice Williams and one of those was Purdue. Williams and Purdue coach Matt Painter hit it off quickly and last month Williams signed with Purdue.

Williams still has a ways to go to become an impact player in the Big 10. For one, he needs to lose weight. Williams suffered an ankle injury late last season that forced him to miss the state (Class B) tournament. He didn’t play basketball for two months and that inactivity contributed to him gaining weight. He said his weight rose to 300 pounds at one point. To start this season his weight was at 285. Williams said he would like to bring that down to 275 by the start of the tournament. He also said Painter wants him down to 260 by the time he begins taking classes at Purdue.

And at age 17 (Williams will be 18 next September), Williams could still be growing. He wears a size 18 shoe and it’s quite possible he could add a half inch or so.

Williams and HFA opened the season at home, with Painter in the crowd, by defeating Detroit Jalen Rose Academy, 60-39. Williams had 20 points, 21 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and two steals. It was a good effort on his part but it wasn’t his best. He missed a number of inside shots (he was 8-of-18 from the field) and had six turnovers.

 Williams said he’s looking forward to this season and indications are that this team will be better than the one that finished 11-8 last season. Williams said his teammates trust him more now and that they have willingly accepted his leadership role.