By Joseph Hayes
He has become one of the best players in all of college basketball.
Yes, Port Huron native Eric Williams Jr. is that good.
The former state champion basketball player at New Haven High School is making major strides at the University of Oregon.
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The Ducks are now ranked No. 15 in the country and in large part that is due to 6-foot-6 Williams Jr., who recently passed 1,000 career college points.
Oregon (3-0, 8-1) is undefeated in PAC-12 play with Williams Jr. currently third on the team in scoring (12.7 points per game) and second in rebounding (6.9 rebounds per game) all while making 37 percent of his 3-pointers.
Watching him the entire time with a big smile on her face has been his mother Clarice Johnson Williams. After watching all of his hard work over the years, it is a certain level of satisfaction that has come from watching his success.
“I am super proud of Eric on and off the court,” Clarice said. “At this point I feel like he already made it playing basketball at a major university. It is definitely a blessing.
“I wish people could see the smile on my face every time I see him on TV. The announcers speak highly of him as well. This journey has been amazing. Being able to watch your child follow his dream is amazing. I love this kid to pieces.”
Williams said not only has her son become a consistent basketball player, he also excels where it matters most — in his character.
“At 21, he still asks for my opinions on things,” Clarice said. “He is still very respectful and I appreciate that he is also doing well with balancing basketball and academics. That was instilled in him at a young age — bad grades no basketball!
“I appreciate all the love and blessing hometown Port Huron shows Eric. It is much appreciated. The village he has is powerful.”