Morgan Park's Markee Williams moves the ball down past Curie's Joseph Stamps. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
It’s been a tough road back to respectability for Morgan Park point guard Markee Williams. Four years ago he was a Freshman starting guard, alongside another freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr., that led the Mustangs to a City Championship. Coach Nick Irvin said the pair would be the best backcourt in Chicago for years to come, but that’s where the story takes a drastic turn.
Garrett rose to one of the premier players in the state, earning a scholarship to DePaul and a spot on the 2013 All-Public League first-team, while Williams transferred to Crane after his sophomore season and drifted into basketball obscurity.
Williams returned to Morgan Park for his senior year, but anybody that knew him could see that he was not the same player. Something was missing.
Adding to the situation and further complicating his return was that fact that Garrett had a new back, Dayton-bound Kyle Davis.
“The game wasn’t fun anymore,” Williams said. “I hated going to the gym and when I did play I had no confidence. It was like I went backwards and everybody else went forward.”
Coach Nick Irvin said it was all about getting his confidence back.
“It was a process,” Irvin said. “First it was about building trust and I knew that would take time.”
Irvin’s patience has paid off and Williams has come on as of late, just in time for the Mustangs to make a serious run at the Public League championship and a Class 3A state title.
“I owe it all to my teammates and coaches. You always find out who is in your corner when you are at your lowest,” Williams said.
Irvin said colleges should not sleep on Williams.
“When I tell you he is back, I mean he is back,” Irvin said. ‘‘If you want a tough hard-nosed Chicago-type guard who can really run the show, he is your guy.”