Mikey Williams is a 15-year-old basketball phenom considering changing the face of college basketball.
Williams, the nation's top-ranked freshman basketball player, tweeted out "going to an HBCU wouldn't be too bad" June 2, leading to a deluge of offers from the country's most respected historically black colleges and universities.
Delaware State, Morehouse, Florida A&M, North Carolina Central, Hampton, Southern, Grambling State, Howard, Texas Southern, Norfolk State, Tennessee State and Alabama State have all offered Williams a scholarship over the last week.
Williams and B/R's Taylor Rooks recently discussed the San Ysidro (California) High School product's college decision and the support he's received since his tweet. The following is a condensed transcript of their conversation.
Rooks: We saw NBA players react to your post...Isaiah Thomas encouraging it. What players/people have reached out to you and maybe had a conversation about what this could mean for HBCUs?
Williams: Lou Williams, Lil Baby, Waka Flocka, Boogie Cousins and some more.
Rooks: What was the message from Lou Williams and Boogie?
Williams: [They] didn't really speak a lot, just said what's up. Lou said way to lead by using my voice, and he's supporting me. Boogie said I have a bright future and I can hit him if I need anything.
Rooks: What do you think are the chances you're able to go to an HBCU? And do you have a favorite HBCU?
Williams: Good chance it just depends on how my future plays out...only God knows what the future holds for me and as of right now I don't.
Rooks: Was there a moment that you realized you held the power in your decisions? I think a lot of young athletes (young and old) don't understand that. So I was curious how you were able to grasp that idea, especially at a young age.
Williams: I wouldn't say there really was a moment it was more me understanding over time that there were a lot of eyes on me, and I have a lot of supporters. And like I said, it's just timing so I think that right now was a perfect time to put my two cents out with everything that's going on that has to do with African American people. And another part of it is just being there for my people...all it takes is one person. I'm glad I sparked enough energy for conversations to start happening.
Rooks: Where does this conviction come from to champion and advocate for HBCUs?
Williams: I've always looked into going to an HBCU; my mom went to Hampton, and she put it in my head early, with my social media following and influence I feel that I have a chance to change sports forever. A lot of athletes are so star struck by big-name schools and coaches that they forget they control their own narrative. If there's anybody that is getting paid from me being at their school I'd want it to be my own people. It's all about timing and situation. I support the black community to the fullest and any way possible I can help I'm going to do so no matter what it is.