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Josh Williams

R.I.P. bro

R.I.P. bro

First time that I encountered Josh was in the 7th grade, when I was playing basketball for a local Seattle AAU team, C.A.Y.A..  We were playing in a tournament in Yakima.

I remember being amazed by a giant dunking seventh grader, that was bigger than any adult man in the gym attending the tournament.  At the time, I was not a very good ball player and usually did not play much.

In fact it took me a while to become a respected ball player.  I’ll never forget watching Josh Williams, play that day, and just dominating every one.  He was out there dunking the ball off of offensive rebounds.  I was actually glad that I was a bench player that day.

Years later, Josh became a rival and a friend.  Never in a million years did I think that I would be mentioned with the Shaq from the Yak.

Josh was a benchmark for me.  Every time that I played him, I knew I had to bring it.  I went hard at Josh, because I respected him so much, and knew that if I didn’t, he would make me look like a fool.  It meant a lot playing against him in the summer before and after my senior year, and gaining his respect.

A true beast, a combination of strength, athleticism and skill.  Huge hands, but such a soft touch.  Long arms, gigantic shoulders.  Goodness, I remember when Davis High School, came up to play Garfield.  I was so upset, because I had to sit out that game due to academic issues.

Shaq of the Yak

Shaq of the Yak

It was a huge deal, Josh was one of the best players in the state, arguably the most dominant at that time.  He was physically bigger than all of the top big man from the state.  I was taller than him, but I was a toothpick compared to him.  There was a moment in the game at Garfield where he absolutely shut the gym down.  Although we won the game, this play, let everyone know that they were dealing with a monster.

Josh caught the ball in the post on the left block.  He was being guarded by Scott Miller, who was a pretty strong dude.  Scott made the mistake of trying to muscle Big Josh.  Big Josh had the foot work of a player a few inches shorter and a hundred pounds lighter than him.  He used Scott’s momentum against him, went base line and dunked Scott’s life away.  One of my favorite plays.

I remember when he committed to University of Washington for football, around the same time that I committed to the University of Washington for basketball.  The thought of him at the dub for football, and playing on the hoop team was exciting.    I’ll always have him in my heart, and always remember the times that I got to play against him and with him, and the laughs and sharing of dreams off the court, after battle.

My heart and prayers go out to his family.   Jaamela, I love you, and I am very sorry for your loss.  Peace, Love and Prayers.


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