It was the tip-off for the Division II girls’ basketball city section title match and senior guard Trinity Williams had to battle 6’2” Hamilton senior center Nina Gazzo for the ball. Having a 5’6” frame did not hinder her from having the vertical leap to tip the ball, giving Crenshaw possession.
“Hops run in the family, I jump ball mostly every game because of my hops basically, how I jump,” Williams said with a chuckle. “When I go up against someone who is taller than me, they think that I can’t jump as high and when I tip the ball, they’re surprised.”
Williams assisted the Cougars girls’ basketball team to a 13-0 record during their season and to their first City Section championship game appearance since 2004. Despite losing the championship to the Hamilton Yankees 68-59, the Cougars had the best record in the Coliseum League.
“It’s actually been really great, it’s something that I haven’t experienced,” Trinity said about reaching the playoffs with an undefeated record. “The higher we get, it’s like the more confidence we have.”
Notorious for forcing turnovers, Williams averaged 9.3 points, 4.7 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game. Against Hawkins in February, Williams made 14 steals; she also scored a season-high of 20 points against Fremont in January.
Williams has a 3.3 GPA and her favorite class is math. She noted how she enjoyed Algebra more than other types of math.
“I really love math,” Williams said. “That’s something I loved since I was young, like solving problems, puzzles, all that.”
Along with basketball and school, Williams sings alto for the Crenshaw High School Elite Choir. Being a member of the choir helped her become a better leader and helped cure her of stage fright.
“Sometimes when you go places and you finish singing, they look at you like you’re just top-notch,” Williams said. “Coming from my community, that’s everything because they’re looking at me like I’m top-notch when I’m looking like ‘whoa, I didn’t know I could even be somebody’s role model.’”
Juggling extracurriculars with athletics and schoolwork can be difficult. Williams finds ways to stay on task to perform well. Her family gives her a reason to achieve good grades and put forth a strong effort on the court.
“You got to have a motive,” she said. “You got to have a short term or a long-term goal and stick to it.”
Williams makes sure not to underestimate their opponents. She notes that Crenshaw girls’ basketball head coach Dominique Harris prioritizes respect and teamwork and the team spends a great amount of time together.
“I feel like everybody recognizes their role and that’s what makes the team flow so much,” Williams said. “[Harris] makes sure everybody is heard … we always have team talks and try to resolve everything best as we can.”
Her advice to young athletes is to keep academics first and to stay true to themselves.
“Don’t be a follower, be yourself,” Williams said. “A lot of people who fall or lose their way because they get distracted or they follow after the wrong person.”