Freshman becomes lead scorer on men’s basketball team

At the beginning of the 2023-2024 season, the men’s basketball team gained seven new players, one of them being the leading scorer, small forward and freshman Kobi Williams.
Throughout the 16 games the team had played, Williams has scored 209 points and has played a total of 407 minutes.
Williams said he began playing basketball at age ten, and while at first, he did not like the sport, he said he kept playing because of his parents’ encouragement and eventually fell in love with the game. He continued his career at Westminster Christian Academy, where he became the high school’s all-time leading scorer with 1608 points.
However, Williams said that he has improved the most as a member of the basketball team in college.
“I don’t want to praise myself because I know I can do a lot better, but as a freshman, I’ve played really well, and I’ve just been growing ever since. I’ve started to get a lot more comfortable on the court playing-wise, like shooting the ball and getting to the basket. I’ve felt like I’ve grown in my entire game,” Williams said.
To play at a collegiate level, Williams said it took a lot of time commitment during the offseason. When he was younger, Williams said he had his personal trainer to help him with developmental skills, and before coming to college, he lifted weights to gain the muscle needed to play at Truman.
On top of his own training, Williams also had practice with the team six days a week, with each practice lasting around two hours. He said the team mostly worked on plays, scrimmaged and scouted the opposing team’s plays during practices.
While Williams said practices and training helped him, he also said he owes most of his dedication to his teammates.
“I’ve only been playing this position because of my teammates. They really pushed me in the offseason every day because they knew how good I could be. We’re all for each other,and we all play for each other. I give all the praise to them,” Williams said.
On top of practices together, Williams said the team liked to do a lot of activities, whether it was getting a pre-game meal or hanging out after a game. He said events like those have helped the team grow close and have made it more fun to play together.
Williams said that one major activity the team does together is a Bible study, Monday nights at 5 p.m., where the teammates share outside struggles and work through them together.
Through these team bonding activities and games, senior CE Talton said it has been amazing to watch Williams bring a different energy to the team.
“It’s exciting to see what he is going to do. A freshman playing like that — you don’t see that a lot. He deserves it; he’s a great guy, and he’s humble. We all want to see each other win, and he is definitely one of those players who could take off and be something special,” Talton said.
Throughout the season, Talton said Williams has always gotten the team hyped up with his high plays. He said that playing with people like Williams helped him take pressure off himself and enjoy the game more.
Another teammate, junior Trey Shearer, said that Williams has done a great job of grasping new information and has been doing great things all year.
“It’s really important that [Williams] has the role that he does because the team needs it. For him to have such a big impact, it helps the team a lot, and it’s really important to the success. When he plays well, the team plays well,” Shearer said.
Williams and the rest of the men’s basketball team will continue their season against the University of Missouri-St. Louis Feb. 3.