For the first time since 2005, the Connecticut Sun are headed to the WNBA Finals. Fourteen years in the making, but that’s great news for the organization, fans, and city.
The Sun’s 2019 season started out with a little bit of drama surrounding All-Star Chiney Ogwumike basically forcing a trade to the LA Sparks. The trade was reported to provide a greater sense of work-life balance with her flourishing broadcast career along with giving her the opportunity to team up with her sister, Nneka, again.
While the Sun already featured a number of All-Stars, they were still being considered a team of “role players.”
“It’s an interesting dynamic when you talk about Connecticut because there isn’t really that main attraction star like you see with LA with Candace Parker, and Breanna Stewart with Seattle but they’ve got some role players that are so crafty…” – John Brickley
Former Sun player, Katie Douglas, echoed those sentiments while adding, “On paper, they’re probably not the most talented team without having those megastars. But collectively, they’ve been together.”
The Sun noticed, and they responded in grand fashion. Not just via social media and full-on “disrespeCT” campaign, but on the court as well. Fast-forward to the semifinals and the Sun, without a “star,” swept that same Sparks team featuring their former teammate and a couple of other main attraction stars.
Throughout the entire semifinals, one player, in particular, caught my attention – and her dad. Let’s take a minute to talk about their rising star, Courtney Williams. If there was any speck of doubt before about the Sun roster containing a star, we can put that to rest.
“TELL ‘EM A BUNCH OF ROLE PLAYERS DID THAT!”
It’s hard to believe that this was the same player that wasn’t given much of a chance to make an impact after being drafted 8th overall in 2016 by the Phoenix Mercury. After appearing in six games, Williams was traded to Connecticut. If you had any chance to watch Williams during her career in South Florida, then you knew what type of player she was. All she needed was a chance.
Averaging 19 ppg, 8.7 rbs, and 5 apg in the playoffs, Williams has risen to every challenge on the court so far. However, it’s the interviews that seemingly give a little more of an insight into the fire that lives within. Her personality. Her demeanor. Her confidence. Dare I say it – her swag. All of these things, in addition to her on-court performance, have aided in making Courtney THAT STAR!
In her corner is probably one of her biggest fans, her dad. Donald Williams has been courtside rooting for his daughter and making it known that she’s indeed, “a bucket.” In a clip via ESPN, Mr. Williams chants at Courtney during shootaround, “Ohhh… she feeling it. Give it to that girl right there. Ohhh… she feeling it. Ooohh… she don’t miss in front of daddy!” He exudes excitement for his daughter as she’s on the biggest stage yet of her career.
After helping punch their ticket to the Finals, Courtney gave us another look at that personality in a postgame presser. In a video by W-insidr’s John Davis, she detailed, in quite possibly a scaled-back version, exactly what she stated to her fellow starting lineup and even herself to get them each going before the game. The confident approach, outfit choice (including the ‘Taxi Yellow’ AJ 1s), and shades all gave total rock star, and that she is.
It’s been fun to see Williams blossom into an amazing player and young promising star. She talks the talk and has been walking the walk. Her presence commands attention, and she isn’t afraid to let you know it. We can all take a piece of her confidence and apply it to our daily lives.
When we talk about moods and big facts, it’s her: Courtney Williams.