WHILE his teammates at North Community High School in Minneapolis have moved to universities in the US, American guard Willie Wilson chose the Philippines for his college basketball.
If this move may be confusing to some, Wilson had one reason to join University of Sto. Tomas — to reunite with high school teammate Gani Stevens.
"He had committed and [UST] was still looking for an import. They reached out to me and three of my other teammates but they already had something going on," said Wilson, who averaged 16.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in his senior year with the Polars.
"It was always a dream for me to play overseas and when I got the opportunity, I felt like I should take it right away," Wilson said.
So far, Wilson has been settling down in his new home, posting 7.5 points on 43-percent shooting, to go with 2.0 rebounds in 12 minutes of play through two games for Builders Warehouse-UST in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup.
"Whatever the team needs me to do to win, I'll do it. And whenever I step on the court, I give my 110-percent," he said. "I play the point guard so being a leader is the biggest thing for me."
The 18-year-old Wilson vowed to be in it for the long haul in Espana.
"I plan on staying here as long as they want me to stay. So as long as they want me around, I’ll stay and give my heart and do everything they want me to do," he stated, expecting big things from the Mutt and Jeff combo that he and Stevens bring to the Growling Tigers.
Wilson's plans go way past the lines of the basketball court as he sees himself staying in the Philippines for the long term.
"After basketball, I have a clothing line right now. I plan to pursue that and I also plan to do sports management. I studied that in college so maybe be a trainer or coach, just something to stick with and stay with around basketball," he said. Ian Dominic Carballo