CHARLOTTE, N.C. — West Charlotte basketball is on a roll. The Lions are seeking their sixth state championship and first since 2011.
They'll take on R.J. Reynolds in the 4A semifinals Saturday in Hickory. And they've got a good shot with Patrick Williams leading the way.
"I've coached a lot of great kids," said West Charlotte head coach Jacoby Davis. "He's going to be one of the best."
The senior forward is one of the top 40 recruits in the country according to most recruiting experts. He's headed to Florida State next year and many think he will someday play in the NBA.
And he still might be underrated.
"We'll see in a few years how good he really is," said Davis.
Williams is averaging 22 points and 9 rebounds per game this season for a very talented West Charlotte team that hopes to bring state championship hardware back to the school.
"It really means everything, for us to be getting back to where we should be," Williams said. "The whole community is supporting us and loving us. It means a lot for the community."
Williams towers over the competition but his game extends outside of the paint where he's a knockdown three-point shooter. That's because before he got to high school he was a point guard, before a growth spurt shot him up to 6-foot-8.
"I was never the tallest," Williams said. "Ninth grade I came in around 5-foot-11 or six feet, so I had to play point guard or shooting guard. With the growth spurt, those guard skills stayed with me."
And as good as Williams is on the court, his coach beams he's just greater away from it.
"Great kid," Davis said. "All his teachers love him, students love him. Great kid, always smiling. Always willing to help; if someone needs a ride, he'll give them a ride home. That's just the kind of kid he is."
Williams maintains a good GPA and would like to study business or sports management and be a sports enhancement trainer.
"When I'm working out I like to see how I progress," he said. "I like to see people get better and reach their full potential."