Williams Eager to Match Seattle's Passion
By: Jourdan Rodrigue
Shaq has settled in Seattle, and she’s ready to show the city what she’s all about.
The Seattle Storm’s new Assistant Coach Shaquala “Shaq” Williams packs a KeyArena-sized amount of passion into her 5’6” frame. It’s inspired by both her love for the game of basketball and for the city of Seattle and its residents.
“There’s just something about this city,” she said. “The people are intelligent and laid-back, but can be so passionate about the game and Seattle itself has done so much for women’s basketball over the years.”
Seattle U Sports Information
Williams’ personal dedication to basketball parallels Seattle’s. She earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors when she played for the University of Oregon in 1999-2000 and played professionally for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2003, Meblotab, Poland in 2005 and Buhanive, Turkey in 2006. She also helped guide the Seattle University Redhawks to a WAC regular-season championship in 2013 as an assistant coach.
“I’ve watched her work over the years,” said head coach Brian Agler. “She’s got a great work ethic and has that reputation for being a hard worker. She’s a quality individual.”
Williams previously assisted the Storm with their video preparation while also coaching the Redhawks, and a basketball-loaded life, from bouncing through youth basketball in her hometown of Portland, Oregon to travelling the world as a professional and becoming a coach hasn’t thinned her love for the game. In fact, Williams admits that even though her life became a whirlwind after being offered a position with the Storm, her excitement has only grown.
“The fans are such a huge reason why the organization is so consistently successful and they’re really an integral part of the team.”
“I’m so looking forward to getting to know the players,” she said. “I want them to know that I’m going to do everything I can to get them prepared and help them win.”
Williams also expects the legendary passion of Seattle’s fan base to help fuel her own energy.
“I’m absolutely excited to interact with the Seattle fan base,” she said. “The fans are such a huge reason why the organization is so consistently successful and they’re really an integral part of the team.”
Added Agler, “The StormCrazies are special and will want to connect with any member of the organization immediately. In the WNBA you have to be a high-energy, passionate person that is accessible to the fans and (Shaq) has that.”
Many eyes are on the Storm organization as it begins its 15th year, but if Williams feels the pressure of being a newcomer, she doesn’t let it show.
“Being a professional athlete has helped me with pressure of any kind,” she said. “The only things I’m concerned about are helping the team and showing the fans how passionate I am about what I do. ‘Basketball business’ is really ‘people business’.”