Longhorns spotlight: Earnesia Williams
March 3, 2009
Andy Ortegon, Texas Media Relations
There may still be pieces of Texas senior forward Earnesia Williams lingering on the floor of Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium, site of last year’s Big 12 tournament. And if not, the image of Williams diving to the court, out-hustling her opponent and poking the ball ahead to her teammate will forever linger with the Longhorns.
The Longhorns were in the final moments of their epic comeback in the quarterfinals against Baylor, and, even with the victory already assured, Williams threw her body to the floor to secure a steal that had no impact on the outcome – just the women’s basketball program. The play lives on in the team’s annual media guide, in a two-page photo spread titled, “Sacrifice for the greater good.”
The snapshot captures the craze and chaos of the moment, and it also reveals Williams at her best. Despite the odds, her concern is only for her team.
This is sacrifice. This is what defines a true Texas Longhorn. And this is Earnesia Williams.
“I wanted to set an example by the way I play. I wanted to be somebody who everybody else wanted to play with, who made everybody else better,” Williams says. “I want to leave a legacy that I was a team player.”
Williams is averaging 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Longhorns this season, and she led the team with 16 points and seven rebounds in a home victory against Texas Tech on Feb. 8.
But numbers have never been Williams’ goal. She isn’t the flashiest player, or even the most recognized.
“I’m not the one scoring all the points, or getting all the touches,” Williams says. “I’m the utility player. I love doing the dirty work to get my teammates open.”
As a two-year captain, Williams just wanted to be an example for her teammates, and lay a foundation of work and want-to for the Longhorns. In practice or in games, she is always working, always doing her job. Teammates describe her as “driven, motivated and accomplished.”
“Earnesia is one of the hardest workers I have ever met,” guard Brittainey Raven says. “As a team, we all know that when something needs to be done, Earnie will find a way to accomplish it. She is just that kind of person.”
Perhaps that understanding of commitment stems from Williams’ family. She’s the only child of Kammie Holmes, who moved to north Austin from Oklahoma to support Williams during her playing days with the Longhorns. Holmes, who also played small forward in college, comes to all the UT games and is a source of counsel for her daughter.
“She’s been a trooper this year, encouraging me and letting me know that the little things I do are important,” Williams says.
And the little things have been important, coming together to create a collage that is Williams’ legacy – a legacy of sacrificing for the greater good.
“Diving on the floor, getting the loose balls, anything to beat the opponent to the ball – that’s just me. It’s who I am,” Williams says.