SE: Meet the Newcomers | Dante Williams
This year’s Wildcat men’s basketball team is filled with new faces of players from around the nation. Coming to K-State from coast to coast, these 10 newcomers each bring unique playing styles and personalities to this year’s Wildcat squad. K-State Sports Extra, partnered with K-StateHD.TV, has spent the previous three months sharing their stories. Today’s story marks the final newcomer feature of the series.
Standing at 7-feet, Dante Williams is the tallest player on this year’s Kansas State men’s basketball team, and he is ready to make an impact on the court with this year’s young roster.
The freshman forward comes to K-State from Arlington, Texas, and, along with his height, he brings athleticism and versatility to the court this season.
“It’s been really good,” said Williams about his first few months with the program. “I’ve picked up things really quick. Everybody has been showing me the ropes and got me into the swing of things as quick as possible. It’s been a fun time and I’ve grown a lot since I got this summer.”
Coming out of Bowie High School, Williams was considered one of the top players in the state of Texas. Following back-to-back 25-win seasons in his two years lettering at Bowie High (he played his sophomore season at Wilson High School in Dallas), Williams was named the District 4-6A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. During the 2014-15 season, he averaged 10.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.
“Dante has been working really hard,” said Wildcat senior forward Stephen Hurt. “He’s been injured a little bit, but he’s in here every day working on his conditioning to be ready for practice or he’s in the weight room getting stronger. He’s doing what he has to do, and that’s good to see from a freshman. It’s good to see him doing what he needs to do to improve.”
Though he has been sidelined with injury and didn’t have the opportunity to get on the court in either of K-State’s two exhibition games, Williams is back in the gym practicing and should make his debut performance soon.
Until then, however, he’s been putting in extra work in the weight room with K-State’s strength and conditioning coach.
“With my recent injury, I’ve grown in the weight room; I’ve been in there a lot. I’m getting stronger and trying to get up to that Big 12 strength level,” explained Williams. “But as for my playing style; I like to play around the basket, but I can step out a little bit if need be to create space for a shot or for another move.”
After spending the first two games on the bench, Williams is eager to get out onto the court and play in front of Wildcat fans, because it was those same fans, the K-State family, that drew him to Manhattan.
“I knew I wanted to come here on my first visit,” explained Williams. “I started meeting the fans and really liked how they were treating everybody. Everyone at K-State, the fans, my teammates and our coaches, treats everyone with respect. I found this place to be a very family-orientated place; and that was very, very nice.”
Following back-to-back exhibition victories, K-State men’s basketball opens its regular season in Bramlage Coliseum on Friday at 7 p.m., with a matchup against Maryland-Eastern Shore. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (state of Kansas and Kansas City area), K-StateHD.TV and ESPN3 (not available in the state of Kansas).
“I can’t wait to be on that court and to be one of those guys everyone is cheering for,” closed Williams with a smile. “I want to be able to do great things here and help bring Ws every time.”
Tickets are available starting at $10, while fans can take advantage of the new Bramlage Bundle for just $20, which includes a general admission/bench ticket, $10 concessions voucher and a souvenir from the K-State Super Store.