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Senior Spotlight 2021: Aiko Williams

In our new series, senior spotlights we are excited to share with you features on VK Basketball's class of 2021 high school grads, all of whom have plans to continue their basketball careers while at post-secondary this fall. These seniors had many things taken away from them and we are excited to take this opportunity to celebrate them and all of their accomplishments. We hope you will follow along as we share them with you!

Despite a challenging recruiting process due to Covid-19, Aiko landed at UBCO. She hopes to set herself up with the best opportunities to grow as a player, teammate, and successful student. Although she has only met her team and coaches over zoom, Williams is excited to start this new journey when she heads up to Kelowna in July for training camp.

In her grade, eleven year Williams and her team placed third at provincials which is the most significant and most memorable moment of her basketball career. Another one of her favorite memories is the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chicago with her VK team. “The huge arena with multiple courts playing at once creates an environment like no other,” explains Williams. As she transitions to university ball, Williams knows the jump will be a big one but is excited to meet new people and have new opportunities.

Photo courtesy of The Province

Aiko is thankful to have been coached by Anthony Beyrouti both at Argyle and in the summers with VK. Beyrouti says about Aiko, “Aiko comes from a great family with two exceptionally supportive parents and an outstandingly cool sister. Aiko has been in the gym from a young age honing her craft and getting better every day. It has made her a faster ball-handler and has recently become a more consistent 3-point shooter; who she is on the court is only surpassed by the person, teammate, and leader she is off the court. She has a unique ability to get along with her team and classmates, and I can’t wait to see the many great things she does at UBCO. I think she landed in the perfect place with coach Bobby and I am excited to see the many great things she will do in her life.”

At a tournament in December 2019, William recalls how she felt she let her team down. After not playing her best, she felt defeated and continuously was overthinking the previous game. However, the next day, facing a new opponent in the tournament, Williams showed up and played one of the best games of her career, dropping over 20 points. This taught her a lesson that she wants to share with younger players; “overthinking does nothing but stress you out more; all it’s going to do is hinder your overall progress.” Williams shared how important it is for her to trust the process and know that everyone has bad days.

At UBCO, Williams will be studying Human Kinesiology with the hopes of becoming a physiotherapist. Aiko will finally get to meet her teammates and coaches this month in person when she moves to Kelowna and will be immersed in their team culture, something she is very excited about.

Check back tomorrow for a feature on another VK class of 2021 grad!

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