Typically, freshman entering high school aren’t tasked with providing contributions to the varsity team let alone stepping in as the team’s best player.
But Mikey Williams isn’t typical.
The 6-foot-1 guard at San Ysidro High School has been providing highlights at basketball tournaments across the country for quite some time.
Through 17 games this season Williams was averaging 33 points per game and set a CIF San Diego Section record when he scored 77 points against Kearny in December.
In November, Williams hit eight three-pointers and finished with 50 points as the Cougars took down Mission Bay with Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union sitting courtside.
Last Friday’s matchup pitted Williams, the top-ranked freshman in the country, against Rancho Christian’s seven-footer and five-star recruit Evan Mobley.
“You know I expected Evan to do what he was doing; you know we’re family and everything,” Williams said after the game. “Just go out there and compete with him. (He’s the) number one player in his class and I’m the number one player in my class, so you know people want to see it.”
Mobley and the Eagles pulled away just before halftime, but Williams delivered another excellent performance as has been the case all season. He finished with 35 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists while delivering a dunk of the year candidate in the third quarter.
“Just to compete, that was the main goal,” Williams said. “They’re a state ranked team, ranked in the country. You know everybody expected them to run us by like fifty, sixty, so we just came in to compete. You know we played hard the whole game. It slipped away at the end but I’m happy how we played.”
Going up against older competition isn’t new for Williams and can likely be credited for his advanced play in his first season of high school basketball.
“I’ve always played up. Recently I started playing my age group, but it was for the summer then I went back up and played,” Williams said. “I haven’t been surprised (by anything), the only thing that’s different is I’ve seen a lot of defenses that I haven’t seen before.”
In middle school, Williams played club ball alongside Bronny James on the North Coast Blue Chips. That and his highlight dunks helped build a social media following that now sits at 1.3 million on Instagram.
“I’m real good at keeping the tunnel vision, keeping social media over here and just working,” Williams said.
Many would have expected the nation’s top freshman to enroll at a prep school or basketball academy, but for Williams the decision to attend San Ysidro was an easy one.
“Just the relationship I have with my coach and I just wanted to put on for my hometown,” Williams said. “Not a lot of people make it out of here with basketball. A lot of people say it’s a football or baseball city, but I want to show people the talent we have here.”