John Tyler's Williams signs to play basketball at ETBU

John Tyler High School standout Patrick Williams (seated middle) signs Tuesday to play basketball next year for East Texas Baptist University flanked by his parents Shakesia, (left) and Rod Williams (right) and Lions coach Cedeno Clark (standing) at the Lions Den. Andrew D. Brosig/Tyler Morning Telegraph

Patrick Williams graduated from John Tyler High School on Thursday. On Tuesday he finalized his post-high school plans.

Williams, a 6-3 forward, signed to play basketball at East Texas Baptist University on Tuesday at the Lions Den.

Williams will join teammate Jacob Owens-Bush, who signed with ETBU in May.

"I know all the hard work I put in here has paid off," Williams said Tuesday. "Not only, me but Jacob, too. We've been the first ones up here in the morning putting up shots, doing everything we needed to do and everything paid off for this day.

"It's very exciting, keep the legacy going on to another college, another campus and we've got to work our way up as freshmen."

A mainstay with the varsity team the last three years, Williams was first-team all-District 16-5A, All-East Texas third team and he played in the Azalea Orthopedics All-Star game.

"When you look at him he passes the eye test," JT coach Cedeno Clark said. "He's got a physical presence about himself. He's a knock-down shooter and he's able to put the ball on the floor and he's not only that, he'll also share the basketball."

Williams chose ETBU after a long recruiting process including schools such as Kilgore College, Southern and McLennan. The Tigers went 21-6 last year and 26-6 the year before, reaching the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division III tournament.

"(I liked) the environment, the coaching staff and them telling me they were going to do everything in their power to get me to where I needed to be and it just sold me in," Williams said.

In addition to teaming up with District 16-5A MVP Owens-Bush, who he's played with since they were little, Williams will team up with 16-5A Offensive Player of the Year Jordan Gray, of Lindale.

"We know he's a great player," Williams said of Gray. "We know how he can shoot the ball and I love to play with a guy like that on my team."

Williams said he'll miss the crowds at the Lions Den but he won't forget his successful senior year, including the District 16-5A title.

"We promised our coach 2016 we were going to put a banner up on that wall," Williams said. "And we did."

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