BIRMINGHAM – The much-coveted Curtis Williams is taking the road less traveled on the basketball recruiting trail.
On Monday afternoon, the 6-foot Birmingham small forward Brother Rice committed to the University of Louisville, becoming the first Oakland County men’s basketball player to sign up for the Cardinals. Williams made his commitment live in a 24/7 live broadcast event from his school’s press room.
“Louisville is the school and program that will make me the player and student athlete I want to be,” he said after his pledge to Kentucky’s former basketball powerhouse. “I feel honored to participate in a program with such a tradition. They have always played my style of basketball and I think I can make an impact there.”
24/7 Sports ranks Williams as the #1 player in the Michigan class of 2023 and #15 in the country in his position. ESPN also ranks Williams as Mitten’s top player, but places him 12th overall on the ward nationwide. He visited the Louisville campus this past weekend for his final official visit in the recruitment process. Williams had narrowed down his bid list to Louisville, Providence, Xavier, Alabama, and Florida State. Neither Michigan nor Michigan State aggressively pursued the Catholic League star,
A four-year starter at Brother Rice, Williams scored the stat sheet with 17 points and seven rebounds per game and hit 40 percent of a 3-pointer as a junior last winter. Defensively, he is a perimeter blocking blocker, using his length and quick hands to thwart opponents and disrupt passing lanes.
Louisville coach Kenny Payne returned to his alma mater in the spring after serving as an assistant in Kentucky, Oregon and in the NBA with the New York Knicks the past two seasons. While playing in Louisville, Payne won an NCAA National Championship with the Cardinals in 1986.
Williams is resting on his laurels with his big-dog rating by recruiting services.
“Rankings are just numbers, I put my stock in what I do on the floor, that’s what matters most,” he said.
Brother Rice will be one of the best teams in the state this upcoming campaign, Williams heads a Division I Big 3-commit to the Warriors 2023 roster, which includes strong and versatile forward Xavier Thomas (Toledo) and point guard John. Blackwell (Wisconsin). Division I football recruit Henry Garitty is one of the most dangerous pitchers in the area and junior winger Warren Marshall looks to have a standout season.