RUTLEDGE — When it came to choosing where he wanted to play college basketball, Jaxon Williams knew he didn’t want to go very far from home because of the connection he had with the Grainger community. The Grizzlies hard-shooting guard got his wish.
Williams will continue his athletic and academic career at Walters State Community College and the eldest said staying close to home was what sealed the deal to become a senator. “I knew I could stay involved here at Grainger and I could stay with my family. I didn’t want to create any sort of barrier with them or with the school here. Also, I want to be with my brothers when they come to play here. When asked if his two brothers, who are twins who will be freshmen at Grainger next season, can shoot as well as they can, Williams replied ‘no’ and then joked ‘I’m here to tell the truth. truth and let’s be honest, they’re not as good shooters.
Shooting was no problem for Williams as he finished his Grainger career with 1,157 points and averaging 14.5 points per game. He was an 80% free throw shooter and was deadly accurate from long range, connecting more than 41% from three points in his career. Grainger head coach Adam Wolfenbarger gave Williams the green light to shoot his way through his career and recalled a conversation he had with Lady Grizzlies head coach Rusty Bishop at about a game at the end of last season. “We always felt like when Jaxon opened up, he would do the hit. Towards the end of the last game of the season, we are down three with less than a minute left against Volunteer and we call a set. Rusty was in the stands and he told me later that he knew what we were saying and that the shot was going to be good because it was Jaxon who took it. Jaxon did a lot of big hits for us in big moments.
Williams credited his head coach with the development that made him a college basketball player. “Coach Wolfie holds us accountable every day in training. It’s never easy and there’s never been an easy day and all the players know that. The coach will tell us about it, but the way he prepared me with the hard work i put in from freshman year to the hard work i put in trying to get a college spot and then second year trying to get a starting spot sealed. He really told me how to get where I want to go. Hope I delivered everything he asked for.
“It’s been a blessing with how I’ve been surrounded by all these people here at Grainger,” Williams said. “I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done. I’ve told our team many times that I hope they don’t just remember me for throwing a ball in a hole, but that they understand without the love of God, we’re all just a pile of dirt. Everything we have with our friends, our family, the team here, has been thanks to the mercy of God and I thank him every day for that.
Grainger finished the season 25-7, had a 16-game winning streak at one point, moved up to third in the state in the 3A standings, and finished the regular season ranked fifth. Wolfenbarger attributed much of that success to Williams. “He’s just a grinder who goes to the gym and works hard and I’m really, really happy for Jaxon.”
Williams is not only an excellent player, he is also an excellent student as he has a GPA of 3.9 and scored 24 on his ACT test. In addition to the basketball team, Williams played golf and baseball during his senior year. He said he relied on a business major at Walters State.