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Tavariyuan beat Williams, De La Salle, Marian


There was probably no one in the building happier and more grateful. Tavariyuan Williams.

The senior forward enjoyed senior night at De La Salle on Friday with too many family members to count. And they all learned that every day is a celebration.

On November 6, 2022, Williams and his two brothers were shot in front of their home by someone Williams said he had never seen before. All three survived. Williams was shot in the left lung.

“I was literally laying in bed not knowing my next move,” said Williams, who spent anxiety-filled days in the hospital wondering if he would live and if he would ever play basketball again. “The first few nights were very scary. They were trying to understand what was happening.

“But I am here.”

He’s definitely here and playing well. Williams scored 20 points and made six 3-pointers as the Meteors defeated Marian Catholic 73-55 in a non-conference game in Chicago.

Richard Linsdey De La Salle (20-11) took the lead with 24 points. Zack Sharkey While outpacing Marian Catholic (20-10) by 19 points, Jonah Weathers 16 added and James Bullock Jr. There were 10 of them.

Williams capped off a great night with a three-pointer in front of her family and friends in the closing minute. He pointed at them as he ran towards the other end of the field.

“This was the best,” Williams said. “I look forward to times like these. It’s unimaginable. I can’t believe I’m here. I have the greatest support system. It feels amazing.”

Those weeks in the hospital didn’t feel good. He was in pain. And his teammates were worried.

“I was scared for him,” Lindsey said. “He’s been my friend since seventh grade. Man, we had so many memories together. I believe he came back in good shape. “It has received approval and is improving.”

Marian Catholic’s Jonah Weathers (10) grabs an offensive rebound against De La Salle in a nonconference game on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, in Chicago. (Jeff Vorva/Daily Southtown)

The bullet passed through Williams’ back and lung. But he somehow managed to recover and return for the Big Dipper Tournament in late December.

How did that happen?

“Oh my God,” Williams said. “It was all God.”

De La Salle coach Gary DeCesare Although he knew his player was frustrated, he was happy to have Williams back on the field.

“He wasn’t himself last year,” DeCesare said of Williams. “He came back and was out of shape and I put him on the bike every day. “He cycled for 45 minutes to build up his endurance.”

This winter, Williams is having a big season as the Meteors’ leading scorer and rebounder.

“She’s a great athlete,” Lindsey said of Williams. “She knows her own strengths and knows how to use them when she wants. Can reach the cart. He can shoot.

“He’s a great teammate. He gets everyone involved.”

Six of De La Salle’s 11 losses came against out-of-state teams. DeCesare has a habit of filling his schedule with national competitions and road trips.

De La Salle’s Richard Lindsey (21) drives against Marian Catholic in a non-conference game on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, in Chicago. (Jeff Vorva/Daily Southtown)

“We never fell apart,” Lindsey said. “We never thought that these setbacks and losses would hurt the team.

“We look back at them and watch film, and when we get home we practice and work on them.”

There were wins, there were pleasant moments.

“Oh, yeah,” Lindsey said. “Especially because I’m going to Florida in late December.”

Despite a late move, the 6-foot-11 Williams’ future in basketball remains in flux.

DeCesare said Williams and some of his teammates need to have a better college outlook.

“Call me crazy, but I think these college coaches are missing the boat with these kids,” DeCesare said. “I have no doubt that they are Division I players.

“I watch a lot of college basketball, and they could play on half the teams I watch.”

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.


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