BOONE — Before examining his game, it’s reasonable to ask O’Showen Williams the story behind his name.
Williams, who signed with Appalachian State’s basketball program Wednesday, receives that question a lot. His first name comes from combining the names of his father, Owen, and mother, Shawn.
“Every time I tell somebody that, they seem amazed,” Williams, whose first name is pronounced like O’Shawn, said with a laugh. “My parents were pretty creative. I think I’m the only person in the world with that name. I’m one of a kind.”
Williams could be the “1” of the future for App State, which is moving forward without its starting point guard and another starting guard from a 9-21 season. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after graduating from Stratford Academy in Macon, Ga., as a two-sport standout and spending one junior college season as a point guard at South Georgia State.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Williams averaged 13.6 points, 5.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game for a 22-10 team in 2016-17.
“I think he brings toughness and a hunger,” App State coach Jim Fox said. “He’s not anywhere close to entitled. He brings us something that we haven’t really had since we got here, and that’s a point guard that can really make guys around him better.”
Williams scored 1,521 points and recorded more than 500 assists in his prep basketball career. He also rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his final two prep football seasons.
Programs in both sports expressed interest in Williams, who could have pursued immediate Division I opportunities as a walk-on. He said there were a handful of Division II football offers and only one Division II basketball offer, and all of those involved partial scholarships.
With steep costs still attached to those options, Williams chose the junior college…