New York High School: Africa Williams

ESPNNewYork All-New York City girls hoops team

April, 24, 2012
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It's been a wild and exciting year for girls basketball in New York City and its time to hand out some hardware. Our high school staff has collaborated to bring you its Big Apple All-City team for the past year. Here's who we saw as the best of the best.


Recruiting: Connell, Williams commit

January, 27, 2012
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Most recruits think about what a school will mean to them over the next four years of their lives. For Christ the King senior guard Rayne Connell, as she made her decision to attend UPenn instead of Southern Methodist, she was thinking a decade ahead.

"Overall, I know I love basketball and everything but I really had to think about what I was going to do 10 years from now," Connell said. "What school ultimately was going to help me with my future? As much as I love basketball, I've been playing since I was five, and that's like every kid's dream to play in the Big East, but at the end of the day, you have to really think about academically what you are going to do."

Connell committed to UPenn on Wednesday night, citing the total package that UPenn can offer to her and the distance factor. The Queens native, who is a 90-average student, is more comfortable spending her next four years in Philadelphia, a major city like New York City, than having to be in Dallas, where Southern Methodist is located.

"Everything they had to offer, the academics, the loan, the degree as well as the coaching staff," Connell said about UPenn. "They had a lot to offer. I'm very comfortable being around there, especially in a city coming from a major city as well. Overall everything they had to offer, it was just a complete package I couldn't turn down."

The senior guard wasn't completely decided on UPenn the entire time, saying that neither team was always ahead of each other, but finally decided on the Quakers after getting accepted to the school on Wednesday.

Since September, she said she had to take several tests, including the SAT and ACT, to get the proper board scores. Connell also had to go through the process of applications, essays and interviews and finally was told by the Dean of Admissions on Wednesday that she would be able to attend in the Class of 2016.

"As soon as I got accepted it was kind of like I've been through such a long process and everything, this is what I'm supposed to do and what I feel the most comfortable with," Connell said. "That's what I went with. And I love it. There's nothing that I don't love about Penn."

Well, there is one thing. The rigorous standards and process to get accepted into the school is something the senior could have done without.

"Except that," Connell said with a laugh.

WILLIAMS TO FORDHAM: Benjamin Banneker standout junior guard Africa Williams, who led the Public Schools Athletic League in scoring last season, committed to Fordham earlier this week. Williams is averaging 28.3 points and 8.1 this season, according to stats available on the PSAL website.

"It's an excellent program and I really like the coaching staff," Williams said. "When I was visiting there, they made me feel like I was part of the team."

Williams was also considering West Virginia, Drexel, Seton Hall and Cincinnati and believes that Fordham is a good fit for her. Her coach, Jonathan Anderson, believes that the junior has been able become a more well rounded player over the past few seasons.

"She gotten better at being more of a versatile player," Anderson said. "She can score and play the point and at times she plays in the middle of the zone and can grab rebounds. She's just an all-around player."

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