Friday, May 26, 2017

Rochester’s Stallworth, Lanphier’s Williams could be huge boost to UIS basketball team

Basketball players Collin Stallworth and Aundrae Williams were on campus earlier this week at the University of Illinois Springfield preparing for summer school even though they have not yet graduated from high school.

Williams, who graduated from Lanphier High School, and Stallworth, who graduated from Rochester High, are eager to kick start college life. And UIS men’s basketball coach Bill Walker is happy they’re joining the program.

“There’s no way anyone saw them play more than we did,” Walker said. The coaching staff’s persistence paid off. Stallworth signed his letter of intent to play for the Prairie Stars in April. Williams inked his letter this month.

“We’ve got a positive response,” Walker said of the signings. “Both those kids are well liked. They were leaders on their team and well thought of.”

That could be a huge boon to the program. Only two players from The State Journal-Register circulation area have played for UIS in its NCAA Division II era dating back to the 2009-10 season. Those two players were Lincoln High School products Brandon Farmer and Caleb Sutton, and Farmer was the last area player on the UIS roster when he was a senior on the 2010-11 team.

Stallworth and Williams played at different high schools, but go way back. They played for the same team in grade school as members of the Springfield Predators in third to fifth grades.

Now they’ll begin their college journey together -- a journey that will start sooner than later with UIS’ summer semester beginning June 5.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 26, 2017.

Read the story online.