2024 All-County Basketball: VHS’ Williams finds ‘happy place’ as Player of Year

Published 4:00 am Sunday, March 24, 2024

Whenever he’s feeling down, or angry, or frustrated, Davian Williams knows exactly where to go.

“When I’m in a bad mood you go play basketball and clear your head up. It frees a lot of stuff out of your mind,” he said. “It’s just like a happy place.”

What he does when he’s on the court makes a lot of people happy.

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Williams averaged 21.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 5.0 assists during his senior season for Vicksburg High. His consistency helped the Gators win the MHSAA Region 2-6A regular-season championship, reach the Class 6A state tournament against a brutally difficult schedule, and landed him the 2024 Vicksburg Post boys basketball Player of the Year award.

“I’m not going to say I wasn’t expecting it, but what I did and how hard I worked it was guaranteed is how I felt,” Williams said of winning the award. “I feel good about it.”

Williams broke out big last season, when he averaged 17 points per game and was selected to play in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Game. He came off the bench to score 18 points and earn all-star MVP honors, and used that to catapult him to another outstanding season.

“I think it showed him that he can play,” Vicksburg coach Kelvin Carter said. “It was supposed to be the best juniors in the state and he ended up getting MVP. He was the very last sub off the bench and he was the leading scorer. That was big.”

Carter said Williams’ intangibles helped turn the senior’s excellent basketball skills into something more.

Carter praised Williams’ work ethic and leadership that made him a good fit to play the point guard position.
Chief among them is a competitive streak that runs deep.

“He’s very, very competitive. When we’re running cross country or running the Gator Mile around the school, he doesn’t want you to beat him. He’s just that kind of guy,” Carter said. “If he’s playing a video game or shooting around the school he doesn’t want you to beat him. If he can keep that competitive edge, I’m quite sure he will flourish.”

Williams said his competitive nature stems from a desire to play the game with no regrets.

“I didn’t want to be a person who said, ‘I could’ve did this or would’ve did this.’ Every time I went out on the floor I played like it was my last game because I knew it was my last shot,” Williams said. “I had to cherish every moment. I just went out and played hard every game.”

Williams was a key piece for the Gators as they reached the second round of the Class 6A tournament. That was especially true in the first half of the season, when several starters were still with the football team.

Williams scored 26 points or more in six of the Gators’ 16 games before New Year’s, and was in double figures in all of the ones he played in. He missed one game because of an illness. Vicksburg was 13-3 when the calendar flipped to 2024 and it finished with a 22-7 record.

“He has that ‘it’ factor — not just with leadership, but with that ball in his hands,” Carter said. “I haven’t had a guy that could really give us 20 points a game effortlessly.”

Williams’ scoring output tailed off a bit in the second half of the season, as football players like Tyler Henderson and Michael Johnson got back into basketball shape and the points got spread around a bit more.
Williams continued to be the primary option, though, and was in double figures in every game.

“I played my role as a leader on the team. I brought everybody together and did what’s best for us. We didn’t make it far but I still cherished the moments,” Williams said. “I feel like I can do all the things. But being a leader on the team, you’re going to be the first option to do something with it.”

Williams’ next step is college basketball. He plans to sign with Alcorn State in April, when the next NCAA signing period opens. He said what he’s learned the last two years about all the facets of the game have prepared him for the next level.

“I feel like I’m ready for it. It’s a whole different level when you’re going to the next level. You just have to be prepared for it, that’s all,” he said. “You’ve got to work hard, put the work in, be ready to put the work in every day. That’s what high school taught me. My work ethic is high.”

Carter agreed. The Gators are losing eight seniors off of this year’s roster, and Williams might be the one he most hates to see go.

“Since I’ve been the head coach, he has been the best point guard that I have coached,” said Carter, who took over as Vicksburg’s head coach in 2017. “I’m sure he is going to be a blessing to wherever he ends up signing. He’s a leader. He works hard. He motivates his guys to play hard. To have a floor general like him is a luxury. He’s going to be deeply missed.”

Vicksburg Post Boys Basketball Players of the Year
2024 – Davian Williams, Vicksburg
2023 – Malik Franklin, Vicksburg
2022 – Chris Taylor, Porter’s Chapel
2021 – Sean Hardy, Vicksburg
2020 – Cameron Butler, Vicksburg
2019 – Devan Kiner, Vicksburg
2018 – Chavis Smith, Warren Central
2017 – Kirk Parker, Vicksburg
2016 – Shaun Walton, Warren Central
2015 – Mario Doyle, Warren Central
2014 – De’Angelo Richardson, Vicksburg
2013 – Ted Brisco, Porter’s Chapel
2012 – Kourey Davis, Warren Central
2011 – Mychal Ammons, Vicksburg
2010 – Mychal Ammons and Kelsey Howard, Vicksburg
2009 – Kelsey Howard, Vicksburg
2008 – Jonathan Phelps, Vicksburg
2007 – Jonathan Phelps, Vicksburg
2006 – Hayden Hales, Porter’s Chapel
2005 – Chico Hunter, Warren Central
2004 – Kyle Richards, St. Aloysius
2003 – Devin Jones, Vicksburg
2002 – Willie Powers, Vicksburg
2001 – Demetrick Allen, Vicksburg
2000 – Herman Griffin, Vicksburg
1999 – Jason Johnson, St. Aloysius
1998 – Coleman Lewis, Warren Central
1997 – Brandon Carr, Porters Chapel
1996 – Quentin Smith, Vicksburg
1995 – Quentin Smith, Vicksburg
1994 – Oscar Denton, Vicksburg
1993 – Mark Smith, Vicksburg

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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