Netting his goal: Loughlin guard commits to Cincinnati

Leader of the pack: Bishop Loughlin star Keith Williams will take his talents to Cincinnati next season, joining the Bearcats basketball squad after visiting the school in September.
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Bishop Loughlin guard Keith Williams isn’t entirely certain what a “bearcat” is, but he’s certainly happy to be one.

The senior star announced his commitment to the University of Cincinnati last week, cementing his future with the Bearcats basketball team and wrapping up a recruiting whirlwind on a definite high note.

“It’s just great,” Williams said. “The coaching staff is great, they’re all great people. I just felt comfortable when I was there and I made the decision.”

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Williams is rated a three-star recruit by The site also listed Williams as the No. 38 shooting guard nationally and the No. 5 prospect in New York.

Williams — who has long been the offensive leader at Loughlin — considers himself a pure scorer, but he knows his game is more than just a stat line. He’s determined to showcase his skills at the next level and is anxious to be the spark the Bearcats need to win games.

“I play hard every game, and I know I can do everything they need me to do,” Williams said. “I just want to come in and help win games. I want to make the best plays I can for my teammates.”

The Loughlin star visited Cincinnati on Sept. 23 and immediately knew he’d found the place for him. He took in a Bearcats football game, met with the basketball coaching staff, and fed off the energy on campus.

Williams also received offers from Oklahoma State and Dayton — and took an unofficial visit with the Flyers in late September as well — but he knew he belonged with the Bearcats.

“The brotherhood was incredible,” Williams said. “The team, all together, they spend a lot of time together and it was like a family. I just felt like it was going to be a great fit for me.”

Williams did a little bit of everything during his junior year at Loughlin last season, leading the Lions to a Brooklyn–Queens title and a berth in the Intersectional final. He averaged 16 points and 7.4 rebounds a game during the season, but he’s gotten even better in the last few weeks.

He spent the summer competing for New Heights, and while his stat line was slightly lower — 15 points and 4.3 rebounds per game — Williams’s court vision and in-game tenacity has only grown.

“The mindset for me was just to play hard every game,” he said. “I didn’t care about the stat lines or the schools that might be looking at me. Before, I was nervous to play — but this summer, I just focused on the game and played hard.”

Williams is expected to officially sign with Cincinnati on Nov. 9 when the National Letter of Intent early-signing period begins. It’s a few more weeks of waiting, but Williams is nothing short of excited for his future on the court, both at Loughlin and with the Bearcats.

“I’m excited because now the pressure is off me, and I know what college I’m going to,” Williams said. “I can go out there and play. I’m more focused on this season, and the main goal is to get a city and state championship before heading to Cincinnati.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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