Tamika Williams takes time to stop and listen to the music, especially if it's an old 45

Moving to Her Own Beat

“Just take those old records off the shelf
I sit and listen to them by myself
Today's music ain't got the same soul
I like that old time rock 'n' roll”

NEW YORK, May 29 -- Although those words might be famous as the lyrics of Bob Seger’s 1977 hit “Old Time Rock 'N' Roll,” they could just as easily have come from Minnesota Lynx forward Tamika Williams.

Tamika Williams takes time to stop and listen to the music.
Jennifer Pottheiser
WNBAE/Getty Images
The 23-year old University of Connecticut graduate from Dayton, Ohio collects music from the 50’s and 60’s. Her favorites include a lot of du-wop, such as the Drifters, Stylistics, Commodores, Temptations and Supremes, and other hit-makers from back in the day, like Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder.

Selected by Minnesota with the sixth overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft, Williams averaged 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during her rookie season, ranking second in the WNBA in field goal percentage (.561) and offensive rebounds (96). During the 2002-03 offseason, she started her graduate studies in Sports Management at Ohio State.

Williams attributes her love for old-time music to her parents, George and Josephine Williams.

“Both my parents are a lot older than most of my friends’ parents. And we would go on family trips in the summertime and just riding in the car going to practice and my dad would always pop in the Stylistics or pop in some Stevie Wonder, just pop in some oldies. And I’d just sit there, and now I know all the songs. So people always make fun of me because I know all of them. Now, I have 45’s. My mom for Christmas this year bought me a record player. I mean, I’ve got the greatest hits of everybody. I have everything now. So, I have them on CD and also on a record collection that a lady around the corner gave to me.”

So which does she prefer, the modern science and advancement of the CD or the nostalgic quality of the 45?

“The 45 is just more airy. It gets you in the mood more, like you really feel like you’re around those times,” Williams said. “Of course the CD’s are really nice and they sound really good, but I think I’d rather listen to the 45’s because I like to sit there and put the record on – which is foreign to me because my generation never did that.”

Williams’s musical ties don’t end there. When the family got a dog a number of years ago, Tamika’s sister named him Sir Duke Ellington after the great jazz performer, which shortened down, of course, to Duke. Asked if having a family pet by the name of “Duke” created conflicts with her UConn loyalties, Williams said, “Considering how bad we beat them earlier this year, I can deal with it.”

And though she’s never made the trip to Hitsville, the Motown Museum in Detroit, she says that she wants to go there “so bad.” Maybe the next time the Lynx visit the Shock, there’ll be time for a quick get-away and some more old time rock ‘n’ roll.