On the surface, Mark Williams‘s decision to transfer to Montrose Christian for his senior season made a lot of basketball sense. But the idea of leaving behind his home state of Ohio and essentially resetting the recruiting process to play for coaches he barely knew made Williams understandably anxious.
“I was nervous coming in, but I put in my mind coming here that I was on a mission,” Williams said in a Monday phone interview. “I’m thankful for the coaches at Montrose because they helped me a lot through it and prepared me mentally and physically to be successful.”
The second team All-Met forward completed his mission Monday by committing to Temple. Williams also considered Kent State and Vanderbilt, but following his visit to the Philadelphia campus this past weekend, he knew that Temple was the program for him.
“I could see myself there in three ways: academically, socially and athletically,” Williams said. “It wasn’t a fabricated-type visit; the red carpet wasn’t rolled out. So I was able to get a true sense of how things went and I really enjoyed it.”
In Williams, the Owls are getting, as Montrose Christian Coach Stu Vetter calls him, “an old-school player” who can hold his own in the paint and keep defenders honest with an outside touch that stretches behind the three-point line. Williams averaged a team-high 15.3 points and 11 rebounds for the Mustangs, who went 19-5 as the area’s second-ranked team.
“Watching Temple, I see they do a lot of dribble-drives and picks and rolls, so with me being the type of player that can play inside and step out on the perimeter a little bit, I knew I could successfully use my skills in their offense,” Williams said. “It was also impressive to see them go to the tournament as an underdog and I’m familiar with that, so I’m excited.”
Prior to transferring to Montrose Christian, Williams attended Benedictine before moving to Richmond Heights for the spring semester of his junior season. Williams met Montrose Christian assistant Don Shopland at an AAU event last summer, which led to Williams joining the Mustangs for his senior season.