Straughn’s Williamson selected to Class 3A 1st team (Full story)

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Straughn's Jacie Williamson was selected as a first-teamer on the Alabama Sports Writers Association's Girls Class 3A All-State basketball team. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s Jacie Williamson was selected as a first-teamer on the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Girls Class 3A All-State basketball team. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Jacie Williamson didn’t want to be satisfied with her game this season.

The Straughn 5-foot-11 junior forward kept working to get better, and that tenacity landed her a first-team spot on the Alabama Sports Writers Association Girls Class 3A All-State basketball team.

Williamson, who had to fill the role at the post position left behind by former SHS standout Brittany Driver, said she didn’t aim to get selected on the All-State team that recognizes the state’s elite players.

“It’s an honor and I don’t guess I knew much about it until Brittany got selected on it (last year),” Williamson said. “I didn’t really think about getting selected on the team. I’m really excited about it.”

During her junior season, Williamson played in all of Straughn’s 30 games. Per game, she averaged 19.3 points, seven rebounds and one assist. From the free-throw line, she was a stellar 73 percent, going 149-for-205, and was 50 percent from the field.

All season long, Williamson dominated from the low post. There was only one game where she had trouble getting to the bucket, and it was during the South Regional semifinals against second-teamer, La’Tia Fils-Aime’ of Daleville.

When asked what she thought was the best part of her game this season, Williamson said it’s a part that some people don’t pay much attention to.

“My free throws,” she said. “People don’t notice how important free throws are. They’re game changers most of the time, especially when you get into most of the important gamess.”

From the start of the season, Williamson made her presence known that she was the perfect replacement to fill the void left by Driver.

She displayed that in a December game, when she reached the 1,000-point milestone in a game against Excel. Later in the season, Williamson reached another milestone when she was recognized for tallying more than 500 rebounds in her career.

Williamson said it took a lot of hard work to get her game where it was this season.

“I never wanted to be satisfied (with my performance),” she said. “I always wanted to keep getting better and better.”

With the help of her teammates, Williamson helped secure the Lady Tigers’ second-straight trip to the Final 48 in Birmingham.

Just being there was the most memorable experience she had this year, Williamson said.

“I guess just being up in Birmingham — spending time with my team, even after losing (to Lauderdale County in the state semifinals); still trying to keep our heads up and have a good time while we’re up there because most people don’t get the chance to be up there,” she said.

Playing the sport she’s grown to love since she was urged to by her friends and teammates — Paige Taylor and Katelyn Kinsaul — Williamson’s bound to have a favorite basketball player.

Without hesitation, Williamson said her favorite player is Los Angeles Sparks forward/center Candace Parker. Before playing for the Sparks, Parker played at the University of Tennessee under former legendary coach Pat Summitt, who Williamson dreamt to play for in college.

Williamson said she loves basketball because the sport grew on her.

“I fell in love with it when I was younger and kept playing it,” she said. “The more I played it, the more I liked it.”

Jacie is the daughter of Jimmy and Kellie Williamson of the Heath Community.


Straughn senior guard JD Driver and Pleasant Home sophomore Troy Fantroy were selected as honorable mentions on the boys Class 3A and 1A teams, respectively; and Opp junior Saquaya Lane was selected as an honorable mention on the girls 3A team. Red Level’s Spencer Stallworth was also an honorable mention on the Class 1A boys team.