By Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune reporter
7:04 PM CST, February 4, 2013
With teammate Jabari Parker vouching for his potential and providing guidance, D.J. Williams is a primary candidate to be the future of Simeon basketball.
In the present, the 6-foot-7 sophomore said he's comfortable with his role as the Wolverines' sixth man and 3-point threat. After Simeon's victory at Coronado (Nev.) on Saturday, Williams talked about Parker's influence, his latest college offer and the improvements in his game since being the only freshman on the Class 4A state championship team last season.
First basketball memory?
Me getting my first dunk at a seventh-grade all-star game. I was on a fastbreak and I just thought about dunking it. I wasn't for sure if I was going to make it or not.
Biggest influence in your career?
Jabari. When I got in high school I saw how hard he worked. He influenced me to work hard. He talks to me a lot, telling me it's not easy, but you have to keep putting in the work. He tells me to stay humble.
How's the recruiting process going?
It's going great. My last offer was Providence, after the Boston game. Before that it was Florida (in December).
Favorite memory from Simeon?
Winning the state championship. It was fun. I got to learn a lot. I didn't get to play a lot, but that was a good thing. I got to see how the game was played.
What's the difference in your game from last year to this year?
I'm more mature, and I've gotten more aggressive. My game has improved a lot overall.
Do you ever think about how much you'd be playing if you went somewhere else?
You have to wait your turn, so I don't have a problem with coming off the bench.
Food: Macaroni and cheese.
Movie: "Django Unchained." I saw it last night.
TV show: "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
Book: "Gifted Hands."
Team: College, probably Michigan. And NBA, the Thunder and the Knicks.
Players: Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
Favorite trip this season: This one. It's Las Vegas. We got a chance to eat at Jabari's family's house. That was pretty fun. We ate a lot of stuff.
What do you think of all of this traveling: It was fun. Sometimes it's tiring, but it's going to pay off. It's going to be like this in college, so we get the experience early.
Dream job: Work for Nike. I would like to design shoes.
Favorite Nike product: The pink and black Foamposites. It's Penny Hardaway's shoe. I bought them a month ago.
Three people you'd like to have dinner with?
Kevin Durant, La La, Barack Obama.
Best advice you've received?
The only thing that can stop us from being great is us.
Best thing you do on the court?
Shooting. I shot a lot. Back in fifth grade, in my back yard, I always used to shoot, and I got better.
What do you need to improve on?
My strength. I need to get in the weight room and do pushups and situps.
Urban Prep West at Simeon
What: CPS playoffs.
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Records: Simeon 19-2, Urban Prep West 14-5.
Colleen Kane's quick take: Second-seeded Simeon sets out to defend its Public League title Tuesday, starting with a first-round matchup against No. 31 seed Urban Prep West, the winner of the Public League Blue-North. The Wolverines, winners of six city championships, beat Curie 53-49 for the title last season.
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