Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Buford senior Isaiah Williams is growing into his role as a point guard and leader for the Wolves.
BUFORD -- One thing Isaiah Williams always knew he could do was score.
He can still score. Two weeks ago he scored 15 straight points against Wesleyan. But when the guard showed up at Buford for his junior season, head coach Allen Whitehart saw a player capable of more than just shooting. He saw a point guard.
"I thought he was really good with the ball in his hand, scoring the ball," Whitehart said. "We had to teach him how to make other people better. But I just saw that he was really comfortable with the ball in his hand and that he could potentially be a really good guard."
As for Williams, he was OK with giving it a shot. A quiet-natured person, Williams never feared the work and effort to change his game from a two-guard's shooting mentality to a point-guard's pass-first.
"It was (hard to become a point guard), but I have to adapt to it if I am going to play at the next level," the senior Williams said. "I like sharing the rock. Our plays are set up with people in certain spot and I have to make sure people are in the right spots. I am getting better."
Development came slowly his junior year with Whitehart riding the talented guard to speak up and keep working.
"One of the things we talk about on our team is closed mouths don't eat. I told him, 'Until you are vocal you can never lead,'" Whitehart said. "He just didn't talk at all, he thought, 'I'll do what I do and you do what you do.' But that's not the way winning basketball works and he became more vocal. I rode him pretty hard. I told him, 'For you to be a point guard, you've got to talk.'"
It worked because Williams didn't mind.
"At my other schools, my coaches would kind of push me but not like (coach Whitehart)," Williams said. "You've got to watch practice. He's really intense."Said Whitehart: "I might have had to see a psychiatrist that first year, myself. We struggled. He was always willing to learn the position and wanting to put the extra work in and really came around. It really clicked for him about Christmas this year when I looked at him and was like, 'OK, he's a really good point guard.'"
He's really good with plenty to learn. Unlike most guards, Williams wasn't groomed since he started playing at age six.
"I think his best basketball as a point guard is definitely in front of him," Whitehart said.
He always loved basketball; it's a family sport for the Williamses. He tried baseball, but it didn't stick.
"I just fell in love with (basketball)," he said.
A powerful and quick player, Williams likes to beat people with his speed off the dribble and he idolizes players like Stephen Curry, a smaller point guard with a deadly shot.
"I want to follow in his footsteps," Williams said.