THE RECRUITING GUY:

Former Maumelle guard turning heads in Dallas

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, April 18, 2014
Deshawn Williams will play in this weekend's Real Deal in the Rock.
Deshawn Williams will play in this weekend's Real Deal in the Rock.

Dallas Prime Prep Academy sophomore guard Deshawn Williams is coming back home to play in the Real Deal in the Rock, which starts today and runs through Sunday.

Williams, 6-1, 163 pounds, played at Maumelle before moving to Dallas in the fall in hopes of improving his stock with college coaches.

“I miss it up there, but at Prime I get a lot of exposure and play against the best competition,” said Williams, who lives with the family of highly-recruited shooting guard Terrance Ferguson, ESPN’s No. 8 sophomore prospect in the nation, while his family remains in Maumelle. “I think it was the best move for me.”

Connecticut and Colorado have extended scholarship offers, and Williams, who will play for the Arkansas Hawks this weekend, is drawing interest from Arkansas, Mississippi State, SMU and Tulsa. Williams said he talks to Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson and associate head coach Melvin Watkins.

“They said they like the energy I bring and how I can create, and said how they really like good guards and that I would fit in real well,” Williams said.

Arkansas Hawks founder and Real Deal in the Rock tournament director Bill Ingram likes Williams’ game.

“He’s a dynamic scorer. He can shoot the three from NBA range,” Ingram said. “He doesn’t have to take a lot of shots to put up numbers. He’s extremely quick. He’s flashy at times. He’s one of these guys that’s really, really mentally tough, and you win with guys like that.”

The Hawks will play Team Penny at 8:35 tonight on Court 1 at P.A.R.K., which is located at 6915 Geyer Springs Rd.

Williams, who averaged about 14 points a game this past season, said he is humbled by the attention he is receiving from the Razorbacks.

“It means a lot,” Williams said. “I would love to play for my state. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do.”

He attributes much of the attention he is receiving to his 27-point game against powerhouse Findley Prep last December in the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas.

“My name just blew up and coaches started calling my coach,” Williams said.

Williams attended Arkansas’ 89-78 victory over SMU on Nov. 18. He also has visited SMU.

GROWING INTEREST

The Arkansas Wings Elite will feature another promising sophomore shooting guard, Lawson Korita of Pulaski Academy, who also is receiving interest from Arkansas.

Korita and the Wings will take on Rashard Lewis Elite at 7:30 tonight on Court 1 at P.A.R.K.

“Lawson is a very skilled young man that has always shot the ball and handled it extremely well,” Arkansas Wings Elite founder and President Ron Crawford said. “Now that his physical maturity has caught up with his skill set, in my opinion he will be a highly recruited shooting guard. He has high interest from the Razorbacks, who have been watching him since he was a ninth-grader.”

Korita, 6-3, 180, averaged 26.5 points while shooting 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the three-point line this past season and was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s All-Arkansas Preps sophomore team.

“He can knock down the three or take his defender off the dribble and finish,” Crawford said. “ He scored 25-plus points in his final six conference games this year at Pulaski Academy, including 37 at Sylvan Hills, without a free throw.”

Korita, who also averaged 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2 steals a game, said he talks to Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson and associate head coach Melvin Watkins.

“I guess you can say they like my effort and my work ethic and I can shoot well,” Korita said.

Korita said he embraces the opportunity to compete against the top talent at Real Deal.

“It’s exciting,” Korita said. “Personally, I play a lot better when I play against people that are really talented. It makes me perform better.”

Korita has grown about two inches over the past two years and has been told by doctors he’ll continue to grow.

“They say I’m supposed to be 6-8,” he said.

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports, Pages 20 on 04/18/2014

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