Aug. 1, 2013
Freshman Danielle Williams is part of U-M's three-member freshman class for the 2013-14 season, joining the Wolverines from Phoenix, Ariz. A perennial winner at the high school and AAU level, Williams' high school won the state and national titles in 2012. Williams talks about her decision to attend Michigan, being away from her twin sister, the crazy weather in Ann Arbor this summer and head coach Kim Barnes Arico.
On why she chose Michigan ... "The coaches are great. They care about the whole person, not just the basketball aspect of our lives. Academic-wise, it is just such a great institution. It provides endless opportunities once you graduate. The facilities are awesome and the players are great too. They are really nice people. They seemed like a good group when I came on my visit."
On her recruiting process ... "The recruiting process, at times, felt like it was never ending. It was pretty intense and stressful because there are so many things going on in your life other than being recruited. Everyone wants to talk to you all the time. It made it hard to focus on different things at different times. Personally, I kind of started my process a little later. I was trying to not get wrapped up in it too early because I was focused on playing for my high school coach and club coach. That was my focus, doing what they needed and what the team needed to help win. Michigan came in late but my brother had a friend who came to school here and all he talked about was how great it was. I had another friend whose brother went here at the time too. You hear about Michigan all the time. The block M is nationwide. It is just something that is great. It is a great school and it is so prestigious. The timing was perfect because they came along when I was starting to really get into everything."
On being away from her twin sister (who is playing basketball at UCLA) ... "My sister, Dominique, she is one of a kind. No one else is like her. It is different. We have never been apart for this long. But I feel like we made our decisions for the right reasons. I wouldn't have done it for any school other than Michigan. In the end, it will be worth it".
On her first month at Michigan ... "It has been good. Classes have been good, my professors are extremely nice. I am taking English and philosophy. My professors are nice and have been pretty accommodating with office hours. The weather has been a little bipolar. The first couple of weeks it was raining cats and dogs and going crazy. Then it will be sunny and really nice. Then it will be 75 degrees and sunny with a little bit of a breeze, which is perfect. Then it will be 60 degrees and cold. It is a little interesting and just takes some getting used to. It will be sunny and then five minutes later, it will be raining."
On her most memorable basketball experience ... "This is really tough. I would probably say, because it is the most recent and holds the most significance, my junior year. We went undefeated in the state (Arizona), undefeated in other tournaments and just working with those girls was great. We all worked really hard and sacrificed a lot of things that regular high schoolers would be doing. In the end, we came together, knew what we wanted and had one common goal. It was amazing how we came together. One person would be down one day and someone else would pick them up. It was great."
On how she would describe her game ..."I would say I am pretty aggressive. I really like to distribute the ball to my teammates and make great passes to get assists. I like to make sure they are getting what they need. Defensively, I like pressuring people, making them turn their backs. I try to make people feel scared when I am defending them. I will do whatever the team needs me to do on that particular day."
On what she is working on this summer ... "I am really working on the whole offensive aspect of my game, like shooting, how to use screens better and reading screens. I am working on being more effective on the offensive end."
On going to Europe ... "I am so excited. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I may never get back there. It is awesome, because as a freshman, it is a great team bonding experience to get to know the girls, the coaches and everyone. To get do that together, especially in Europe, is going to be awesome. What better place to do it?"
On head coach Kim Barnes Arico ... "Coach Arico is a great leader. She leads, not only just because she is the head coach, but she leads by example both on and off the court. She always does what says. If she is talking about positive attitude, leadership or bringing energy, she always comes into the gym full of energy. Her energy is always a catalyst for everything she does. She does such a great job of that. She really cares about the whole person. She is always asking about us, how we are doing, not just basketball-wise but about everything. She is a very family-oriented person, which is great. There is just something about her that makes you want to work harder and push yourself to a new level."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423