ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Developing love and passion for a sport comes with no age requirement, just ask Aaliyah Williams. The 10-year-old point guard’s basketball journey began when she was only five years old. “I just started playing and fell in love with it” said Aaliyah.
Her love began with a few dribbles down her driveway and on to a road of greatness. Standing at just 4’10, Aaliyah packs a skill level and drive you only see in players twice her age. “She developed a work ethic at a young age,” said Eric Williams, Aaliyah’s dad. “Every year it just seemed like she progressed and got better and better.”
It’s easy to let Aaliyah’s skills speak for itself but just to break things down, her step back? Secured. Left handed bank shot? Sealed. Three pointers? Curry! Handles? Hold on to your ankles! But none of those skills developed overnight. “It kind of comes from just working out every day” Aaliyah explained. “I practice two days a week with my team and the other days I practice ball handling and shooting with my dad.” Her dad is also the head coach of her 4th grade basketball team, the Lourdes Eagles. “She’s very coachable, she understands that hard work will get you where you want to be” Eric proclaimed.
Last weekend Aaliyah helped lead her team to a State title after dropping 38 of the teams 39 points in the semifinals. Not only does she surprise the spectators but the people closest to her too. “She’s a great leader and always knows what to do in hard situations when we’re playing basketball” said her teammate, Lilly Davis.
Even though Aaliyah is only 10 years old, the five years under her belt can help inspire future baller waiting to their first shot. Her advice to them? “Keep practicing and if somethings really hard just don’t give up and keep getting better at it.”
*Featured photos and videos provided by the Williams family