PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — St. John Fisher College basketball center Connor Williams took the internet by storm this weekend, as he took to the floor in the second half of an exhibition game against University of Buffalo.
The loss might not have counted on Fisher’s schedule with only a handful of games under their collective belt — since Fisher is Division III and UB is Division I — but it showed what Rochesterians always knew about Williams since his days at Victor: That he’s an A+ passer.
“I thought it was funny, because everyone was raving over how good of a pass it was, but it’s not even close to one of the better passes I’ve had,” Williams said over a Zoom with News 8 Monday, fitting in time for an interview between prepping for finals.
Williams is in his first year at Fisher, currently majoring in cybersecurity while maintaining a grueling schedule of a student athlete.
As he was coming out of high school, Williams was deciding between football, at a Division II level, and basketball.
“I really love basketball more and I think that would be a better fit for me for the next four years and I want to do that,” Williams said when News 8 interviewed the Victor standout in March of this year.
Back in March, his coach at Victor, Tyler Roberts, lauded Williams for his skill, calling him a gifted passer, and how his presence felt as though their was another coach on the court.
“I was younger, even up until now, I never liked playing with people who wouldn’t pass the ball,” he said. “It’s always frustrating, whether you’re the best player or the worst player, whatever — when you ballhog, it’s really frustrating to the rest of the team.
“Passing the ball, especially for me, since I get double teamed or triple teamed … If there’s two or three people on me, someone’s open and can get a good shot,” he said. “Scoring is great, but I want my team to be successful, so I think that’s more important to me.”
Besides his passing skill, his size possibly made the clip more viral. Williams is listed on the roster as 7 feet tall, and 360lbs. The clip shows Williams running down the court, tripping on an opposing player, and hurting his ankle before coming up to make a sweet pass to forward Dan Cook, whom Williams calls one of the best players in Division III.
“The second one, the one where I fell over, we just came out of a timeout, and we knew we were going to run the play,” he said. “I knew it was coming, I stepped on the kid’s foot, I fell, it hurt, but I knew I had to get up and make this pass … I hoped that we could get the play and get a time out or something to get me out, because I couldn’t run.”
Thankfully for Williams, he has some time to rest. Fisher doesn’t have another game until the 29th, a break for study and finals. It will give Williams a chance to rest his ankle, which he says is “pretty swollen” with a “pretty good ankle sprain.”
“I’m in a boot. It’s not great, but hopefully it will get better soon,” he said. “It hurts to walk.”
Hopefully for Fisher, they will have one of their key contributors back for when league resumes early next year.
He says that the viral moment has been “crazy,” but he’s handling it well… And is appreciative for the slight uptick in followers.