The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Williams to play basketball at Webster University

May 5, 2022

Senior basketball player Claire Williams has committed to Webster University to play at the collegiate
level. The Missouri private college competes in the division three St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic
Conference.
WIlliams has been playing basketball since the first grade and started to consider playing the sport in
college a few years later.
“[Around] fifth grade was when I realized that would be something I would really like to do. I realized
the work that I would have to do to get there, so I started working out a lot more and going to trainers,”
Williams said.
Her athletic history spans far and wide. Williams has participated in dance, volleyball, track and cross
country. She was also a tri-sport athlete throughout her high school years, participating in cross country,
basketball and track. In retrospect, she learned many life skills from her athletics.
“It’s hard handling everything. I got beautiful communication skills and time management skills out of it,
because I was having to run to two different practices a day usually; having to get my homework done
and taking AP Classes. It taught me how to handle my stress and my anxiety with it too,” Williams said.
Utilizing a planner has been the main way of keeping track of all her responsibilities.
“It’s so simple, but being able to organize it and be like, ‘Okay, that’s checked off, that’s done’ really
helped me with that,” Williams said.
She began her contact with Webster basketball after a tournament game in Kansas. After playing what
felt like the worst game of her life, Williams was surprised to find a message on her Twitter.
“I don’t even think I scored in the game. I’m pouting, watching another game, and I’m checking my
Twitter. I have a message from a coach, and I’m like, ‘What the heck is Webster? I’ve never heard of it,’”
Williams said.
The Webster coaching staff had watched Williams’ game and loved the way she played. They asked to
have a conversation with her about where she was at in her recruiting process.
“When I get back in town we have an hour-long conversation, the longest recruiting phone call I’ve ever
had. It just went great. I loved the coach. His coaching philosophy and his attitude are the way I love to
play. He reminds me a lot of my high school coach, and that was what I wanted in a coach,” Williams
said.
She visited the campus in September and loved the interconnectedness of it. Williams hopes to major in
psychology at Webster.
“I want to be a coach one day, so I plan on focusing on school or sports psychology. Coach Lodge and
Coach Kroupa helped me this year and taught me coaching techniques, so they were mentoring me in
that area,” Williams said.
Central basketball means “the world” to Williams, and she plans on coming back to visit often.

“I was always called the mom of the team because I was always looking out for the freshmen and
sophomores. All the senior girls are super close and connected. We went through winning four games
our freshmen year to being fourth in the state. We went through everything together, so it’s hard
leaving that connection behind,” Williams said. “I’m hoping I can find a connection like that at Webster.”

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