WHITEMARSH >> Plymouth Whitemarsh guard Ahmin Williams broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot during the final game of the 2016-17 regular season on Feb. 7.
He spent the Colonials deep district and state playoff runs wearing a walking boot on the bench and coaching up his teammates.
After a long, frustrating four-month rehab, the rising senior got back on the floor a few weeks ago for the Plymouth Whitemarsh Spring League.
He scored six points in the Colonials 42-23 win over Archbishop Ryan Tuesday night at Colonial Elementary School, but was not 100% back from the injury.
“I can’t do a lot of things I want to do,” Williams said. “Not as explosive as I used to be, but I can see it. That’s irritating me the most — when you can see it and you know you can’t get there. It’s definitely getting there, though.”
“It’s been a long road for him,” PW coach Jim Donofrio said. “He’s shown great patience, great frustration. He was really down. It’s not like him. It’s the first real injury of his life and 14 weeks in a boot. Sometimes in school just going around in a wheel chair. You could just see it bothering him … Every time he went to the doctor they said, ‘You look great, three more weeks. You look great, four more weeks.’ He was heartbroken every time.”
Williams spent a lot of time working on his strength when he couldn’t move around. He was lifting in the weight room, doing push ups and working on his jump shot.
He’s been fasting for the last few weeks in accordance with Ramadan. He believes he’ll get his speed and explosiveness back up again soon when he returns to eating more throughout the day.
When Williams went down at the end of the regular season, his twin brother and Times Herald Player of the Year Ahmad Williams moved to point guard and Ish Horn was thrust into a starting role as the shooting guard.
Horn responded by leading the team in scoring during the postseason
The three rising senior guards all started for the Colonials Tuesday. They didn’t play together much during the season last year. Horn — a Martin Luther King transfer last summer — typically played less than ten minutes per game before taking on a larger role in the playoffs.
“We’re coming along very well,” Ahmin Williams said of the three playing together. “Ish is still lacking the defense. He’s not understanding the concepts in his first year here. It takes time. As soon as Ish gets that defensive mindset, because me and Ahmad got it — we know when to trap, when to fall back, who’s the weakest players — once Ish gets that on the same page, I think we’ll be unstoppable.”
Donofrio sees the challenge as those three working together and getting 7-foot-1 sophomore Naheem McLeod involved.
“With the twins and Ish and (McLeod) it’s a seven-day-a-week thing,” Donofrio said. “They’re obviously beyond brothers. They get on each other’s nerves, they yell at each other, but it’s a really good dysfunction. The number one reason why it will work is because in the end when I say I need quiet, they’re right there with me.
“The biggest challenge these kids have is how will they incorporate (McLeod) now — not thinking he has to be the centerpiece, but also he’s not their caddy. As a freshman and sophomore it’s like, ‘OK big guy, if you get a rebound great, give me the ball and just keep getting out of the way.’ He’s got to become incorporated in this in a big way. That’s where maybe the egos are going to have to fight each other until they figure it out. The championship level teams do that. They have four or five or six great players and they figure it out. Otherwise you’re not going to win. It’s not a hard concept — move the ball, make each other great. The concepts get easier when you have talent.”