After she missed the final 11 games of the Webster University women’s basketball team’s 2011-2012 season because she was academically ineligible, guard Gwen Williams has returned to the squad for her senior season.
Williams said not being able to help her teammates during the stretch run of the season has driven her to become a better basketball player and leader.
“It actually did motivate me, even though I didn’t want to get my motivation that way,” Williams said. “But you know everything works out very mysterious. I feel like with me not playing for those (weeks) I didn’t play, that really did hurt our team.
“With me knowing that I was such a big part for the team, I feel like now that I’m back, I need to start from there and build up from there. I don’t need to start from the beginning. I need to start from where I left off and try to achieve higher than what I achieved last season.”
Before she was ruled academically ineligible, Williams played in 15 contests and led Webster in scoring with 9.5 points per game. She was also one of the Gorloks’ top defensive players, as evidenced by her team-leading 2.7 steals per game.
“Gwen is a great teammate,” coach Jordan Olufson said. “She’s a lot of fun, brings a lot of energy. She’s darn good on defense, and she’s pretty good on offense. … She kind of gives everybody energy and sets the tone. When she’s out there getting steals, it’s kind of contagious.”
Williams had two standout seasons at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley prior to transferring to Webster. Through three games this season, Williams has averaged 9.3 points per game, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
“The problem I had last year was very upsetting for the team on and off the court, myself on and off the court,” Williams said. “But as far as now, I feel that’s in the past. Now I’m worried about the present and the future.
“I know my team needs me. I’m pretty much pumped for it. This is my senior year. I want to show the freshmen and the sophomores and the juniors, like, go out, play hard and work hard, and basically be a leader out there.”