By Zac Vierra — Copy Editor
Javon Williams doesn’t care if he’s getting paid $2, $5 or $3 million; it has been his lifelong dream to make a living playing basketball. Williams, the second leading scorer in Lasell basketball history, has taken the first step toward making this a reality.
Williams, a senior, was invited to play in a 10-day showcase in Europe from May 27-June 5 through USA Athletes International, a nonprofit organization that gives amateur athletes the chance to participate in sporting events throughout the world. Williams will be playing with other Americans on a team that will travel throughout the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Holland. The showcase allows European professional teams to scout American talent at a cheaper price.
In order to fund his trip, Williams needs to raise $4,000. He started last summer by sending letters and asking people in person. Although the fundraising has not been easy, Williams has raised $3,300 so far.
“I started asking more and more people, and if you hear ‘no’ enough, you will start hearing a few ‘yeses’,” said Williams.
Williams also invited people to watch him play when the Lasers were still in season for basketball.
“[I wanted to have] them see that I am a good ball player, and they should give their money to a reasonable cause,” he said.
Playing for Lasell is only the beginning, according to Williams.
“You play basketball here for four years, and in a sense, it’s like building a resume,” he said. “Why not take those skills that you have learned over the four years? You built that resume and can actually move on and get paid for it.”
Williams is confident he has what it takes to make it at the professional level in Europe.
“I can compete with these guys. I’ve been doing it long enough, and I’m always open to learn and improve,” said Williams. “I know I’m not the perfect ball player, but I know I can fit somewhere.”
Williams hopes that if he plays well, coaches will contact him to learn more about him. He is hoping this will lead to a tryout or contract with a team.
Along with the opportunity to display his skills to different teams, the trip gives him a chance to travel.
“I really would like to see a different world, a different culture, a different way of life,” said Williams.
Although he is excited to see a new world, he knows it will be tough to leave the one he has known for the last four years: playing basketball at Lasell.
“It was a great learning experience. It has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve played hard, it’s been a great stress reliever, it’s made me happy, it’s made me sad,” said Williams “It’s become a part of me. It’s going to be really hard to walk away from it. It’s been something that I loved being a part of.”
The deadline for Williams to raise the final $700 for his trip is the end of March. So far, he has reached out to businesses, professors, and others. He is planning to ask family members next for donations, but is still accepting donations from anyone who is willing to help.