Joe Gaiter: What does basketball mean to you?
Malik Williams: Basketball for me is a way out, a means to survive, and has taken me to many places I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the world bouncing that little orange ball.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your childhood?
Malik Williams: My childhood was pretty cool. I was raised by a father who grew up playing sports so literally that was my life. I hardly had time to really do anything outside of basketball. Growing up in Detroit man was pretty fun and eventful for me. Detroit taught me a lot and I definitely could never forget my city.
Joe Gaiter: What is your untold story?
Malik Williams: My untold story is what made me go so hard for this game we call basketball. My experience when I went to prep school in South Carolina really shaped my story. Out of high school I wasn’t really highly recruited and also I wasn’t a NCAA Full Qualifier. So when I graduated high school I made the decision to leave my family and go play basketball for 22 feet academy in South Carolina. This was a fresh start for me and also gave me a chance to mature and get myself together. Being there really taught me discipline and how if I really want something all I need to do is work and speak it into existence. I got closer with the universe and really started to understand myself way more. I connected with a lot of amazing people such as my coach Mike Alexander, teammates, coaches from schools that recruited me, and others that really helped me through everything. Now for people that don’t know, 22feet was the prep school that was shutdown because of many corrupt things being done behind the scenes that affected us as athletes. Things such as us living in a barn, hardly being given resources to survive, and being lied to about educational advancements. I appreciate the struggle that me and my guys went through there because it definitely made us form a great bond and push through. Anyways, I went and played for 22 feet and went at many of the top guards in the nation such as Darnell Rogers, Dajour Joseph, and many others which helped in making a name for myself.
Joe Gaiter: What are your fondest memories about 22 Feet Academy?
Malik Williams: No comment.
Joe Gaiter: What are your thoughts when you watch your highschool.
Malik Williams: Seems way easier than when I played in high school.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your recruitment experience?
Malik Williams: At 22 feet I was recruited by schools such as Lincoln Memorial University, Benedict College, Paine college, and many others. I ended up choosing Benedict because they felt the most like home. With me being a half qualifier over the summer after I signed I took a class online at a community college to cover the credit that I needed but I then was told that Benedict wouldn’t hold my spot. So then, I was left alone with no schools to go to and I ended up signing at a JUCO back home Henry Ford College. Played one year and did pretty good but me and the coach had a little falling out so I decided after the first year I would leave and seek a new home. I took a year off and worked out and just perfected my game and I had got a call from Coach George Lynch former CAU basketball head coach. The call was telling me to come down to a workout because he had seen my tape and wanted to check me out. So, then I came down, worked out and the coaching staff loved me and I got signed on the spot and the rest is history.
Joe Gaiter: How was your Juco experience at Henry Ford College?
Malik Williams: My JUCO experience was cool. I wish it went a little bit better but it is what is.
Joe Gaiter: Why did you choose Clark Atlanta University?
Malik Williams: Clark chose me and I can’t thank the coaches enough for even giving me a chance.
Joe Gaiter: What has your contribution at CAU’s team?
Malik Williams: My contribution at CAU was my defense and my energy. Every night I came out did whatever I had to not only get myself going but also get my teammates going. I always made sure no matter what that every one had fun.
Joe Gaiter: CAU was 14-16 during the season and lost to Miles College during the SIAC tournament. What went wrong?
Malik Williams: We were out of gas and didn’t take advantage of the little things. In this game it’s the little things that matter and I feel like we just didn’t give it our all. Another thing was the communication. Our communication wasn’t there and as a result we took a L.
Joe Gaiter: What are your strengths and areas you need to improve on as a guard?
Malik Williams: My strengths as a guard is my shooting, my attacking on offense, defense, my energy & voice, my hustle and to score when needed. What I need to improve on is my consistency and stop being lazy.
Joe Gaiter: Why are you leaving Clark Atlanta and was this a hard decision?
Malik Williams: Our head coach was recently fired with no warning and for us as the players it came as a surprise. I felt that if they could do that to our head coach with no warning then what would they do to me. Also the AD & Assistant AD haven’t made a decision on who the new head coach could be. So, I honestly just didn’t have time to wait on anyone to make a decision. I’m 21 going on 22 in a couple of months and my next moves need to be guaranteed and calculated right. So I decided to part ways with the university. It was a hard decision but I definitely don’t regret it.
Joe Gaiter: What will you miss about Clark Atlanta?
Malik Williams: Definitely my teammates, Coach Scott (Assistant Coach), and the connections I made with faculty in the office and my professors.
Joe Gaiter: Where are you heading next?
Malik Williams: As of right now I haven’t chose a new school yet. I’m shopping as we speak.
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and how do you plan on using it?
Malik Williams: Mass Media with a concentration in Public Relations. Honestly I haven’t gotten that far. I know for sure once I retire down the road I want to give back and help kids get to the higher level.
Joe Gaiter: What does it mean to have your family’s support?
Malik Williams: Man it means the most. Family is there through all the hard times that everyone can’t see and I appreciate my family so much.
Joe Gaiter: What is life like for you when you are not playing basketball?
Malik Williams: Honestly, when I’m not playing I’m working out, spending time with family or traveling and having fun. I love playing Modern Warfare on Xbox 1 and watching movies and basketball film.
Joe Gaiter: Where are you training during the offseason?
Malik Williams: Back home with my trainer Darrell “Ajaye” Whaley.
Joe Gaiter: What do you want your legacy to be?
Malik Williams: I want my legacy to be that no matter what I touched I became successful with it. I want when people hear my name they have more good to say then bad and that I was always a pleasure to be around.
Joe Gaiter: Final Words?
Malik Williams: Thank you to Gaiter Sports for this interview !
Joe Gaiter: Shout outs
Malik Williams: Shoutout to:
My parents and family
My prep coach Mike Alexander
My trainers Lester Johnson & Darrell Whaley
My brothers/ teammates
Coach Melvin Scott & George Lynch