GLADEWATER, Texas (KETK) – On September 18th, 2015, at Bulldog Stadium in Carthage, Gladewater’s Caleb Williams suffered a devastating concussion and spent months regaining his memory.
But in the years since, he’s excelled on the basketball court, becoming a First Team NJCAA All-American with Richland College, and this fall he will join the East Central Tigers, in Oklahoma.
Williams is one of the best East Texans, at putting a ball in the hoop, in the past decade.
“East Texas and Gladewater is really known for football lately, so it’s good to get somebody out of Gladewater to go do something in basketball,” said Williams.
On Monday morning, in the new middle school gym in Gladewater, Williams and his high school basketball coach, Jermaine Lewis, ran through a non-stop, full-court workout, as Williams gets ready to join his new team this coming August.
“My goal is, with my knowledge of basketball, is to just keep him informed of what’s going on, and what’s new right now and just keep him in tune,” said Lewis.
“I love basketball, my first love,” said Williams. “I feel like you have to have more skill to play basketball. They say it’s less contact, but there’s a lot of contact in basketball, I just play 100 percent every game.”
But during his high school senior season, while playing his other love, football, Williams, took a severe blow to the head, and had to go through intensive therapy to regain basic motor skills, as well as his memory.
“It was tough, I wasn’t too comfortable around anybody, wasn’t too comfortable around myself, I didn’t know too much,” said Williams.
“When he first got hurt, I really didn’t want him to play, you know, I really didn’t,” said Lewis. “I was concerned about him, I wasn’t worried about basketball, or anything at that time.”
But when basketball season did roll around, Williams was cleared to play and averaged nearly thirty points a game.
“We had won district for the first time in like 15 years, coach Lewis just put the right team together, you know, we just listened to what he said, and we won district and made it to the playoffs,” said Williams.
So now, three years later, the work continues.
His first goal has been accomplished, overcoming, what was once a devastating injury.
Next on the list, well, he plans to keep shooting for his dreams.
“Don’t give up on what you love, if you love basketball, just continue to work at it, don’t let anything stop you from what you want to do,” said Williams.
He says he will be on campus at East Central University on August 10th.
This past season, Williams averaged 19.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
He led the Richland Thunderducks to a Region Championship and a third place at the national tournament.
Watch the video to see the story.