Like It Is

OPINION | WALLY HALL: Williams left mark at CAC, then UConn

There she was on ESPN on Sunday night in the NCAA women's championship game.

She won't turn 22 until next month, but this was Christyn Williams' third Women's Final Four as a starter for the UConn Huskies.

Only covid-19 could keep her UConn team out of the Final Four when it forced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

She wears No. 13, but for a lot of folks in Central Arkansas she's No. 1.

Williams was raised in Little Rock, attended and graduated from Central Arkansas Christian and was one of the most recruited players in the country when she was in high school.

Arguably, she is the best to have grown up in Arkansas, but there have been others, like Wendy Scholtens (now Wood), who was a three-time All-SEC player for Vanderbilt and the first female to have her Commodores jersey retired. She's in the Arkansas and Tennessee sports halls of fame.

Wendy was 6-4 and averaged more than 20 points a game in college on her way to All-American honors.

Now there is the 5-11 Williams who played every position on the court during her career.

In her four years, UConn was 122-14 overall, 66-1 in Big East play and 13-3 in NCAA Tournament play.

She missed three games as a freshman, one as a sophomore and finished her career averaging 14.2 points per game.

She's been named all-conference, all-tournament and All-American, and now she's been named the winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award that goes to the best shooting guard in the nation.

At CAC, Christyn was recruited by every major women's program in the country.

She was known for her quick smile, politeness and good manners.

Her free time was spent honing her game at the Mike Charles Skills and Drills camps, where she always competed against males and more often than not held her own. She won a lot more competitions than she lost.

All indications are nothing has changed, except she wears her hair a little shorter and in a different style.

It was fun watching her over the years, but it was hard to watch the Huskies lose on Sunday even if it was to a great South Carolina team.

. . .

The transfer portal continues to send confusing messages, and along with name, identity and likeness, it seems to be out of control.

Although, not all of the transferring is bad.

Arkansas Razorback John David White, a fast and talented wide receiver who walked on, transferred to Central Arkansas in January.

White, I'm told, left Fayetteville with his UA diploma in hand and just wanted a fresh start for the finale of his football career.

White's dad was an All-American golfer at the UA, his grandfather on his mother's side played in the 1969 Big Shootout for Frank Broyles. His family tree runs deep through Senior Walk, where probably a few wheelbarrows of concrete were needed.

He left on his and the team's good terms.

It just seems like for every story like John David White's, there's a dozen that are just full of question marks.

. . .

Probably the greatest news of this week, maybe this year, is that Tiger Woods is playing in the Masters.

Woods became the face of the PGA, and then a car wreck and discussions of amputating his leg were the news. Here he is back for the greatest golf tournament in the world and ready to compete.

He's got to be a long shot to win, and at 46 he would be the oldest ever (by three weeks over Jack Nicklaus), but to see his determination and perseverance is refreshing and, he tried to make his return without headlines.

He's going through the motions with the press, but it seems obvious he's focused on walking the course and finishing strong.

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