by Sarah Lake
Lynx forward Tamika Williams has had a stellar basketball career. As a senior in high school, she was named the National High School Player of the Year. She then won two NCAA championships with the University of Connecticut.
Her success has continued in the professional ranks, where she has excels with the Lynx. Williams has started in every game that she has played in her WNBA career. Last year she shattered the league's single-season record for field goal accuracy. In the offseason, Williams works as an assistant coach with the Ohio State women's basketball team. All of these experiences have made Williams into the leader that you see on the court today.
"We've got a lot of new talent on this team," Williams said. "With the five rookies coming in, I had to step up not only on the court, but help them out off the court and become a better leader."
Williams is leading the WNBA in field goal percentage again this season, shooting .532 through 28 games. She set a single-game club record for most field goals without a miss when she finished 7-for-7 on June 5 vs. Phoenix, scoring a career-high 22 points along with 10 rebounds. Williams has scored in double figures nine times in 2004, including three point/rebound double-doubles. She also leads the Lynx in rebounds and is fourth in the league in offensive rebounds per game.
Williams says that she is steadily striving to improve. "I am trying to improve everything from my defense, outside shooting, and getting the confidence to put the ball up. I think you can never stop trying to improve."
Whenever you see Williams, on or off the court, she has a smile on her face and a joke on her lips. But make no mistake, she's much more than comic relief. "I want to be known as the person that if someone is having a bad day they can call me and I'll get them out of their funk. When people are struggling off the court, I'm trying to find them and get them out of their funk."
The 24-year-old Williams has proven that she is not just a jokester but a real force to be reckoned with in the WNBA.
Williams photo gallery
Williams' WNBA.com playerfile
Feature story: Back to Forward
Williams receives WNBA Community Assist Award
2004 Lynx features archive