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The Setback Of A Young Superstar: The Trial Of Michael Anthony Williams.

Micheal Anthony Williams nicknamed "Mikey" was born on June 26th, 2004, to parents Mahlon & Cherise Williams. His father played basketball at Sweetwater High School, and his mother played Softball at Kearny High School. Cherise also played collegiate softball at Hampton University. They bonded over their love of sports since they were both athletes and passed their passion for sports on to their children

Mikey picked up a basketball for the first time at 11 months old, and he didn’t know that moment changed his life forever. He began practicing on an outside court in his apartment complex, and got to test his skills in elementary school on other kids. When he arrived at middle school, Mikey was at an advanced level for his age group. He dunked the ball for the first time at age 12 on April 15, 2017, against the San Diego Sharks. He also played for the “Micheal Thomas All-Stars Travel Team”. By the 7th grade, he was ranked the number one player in the class of 2023 by the Naismith National Youth All-American Report. 

In eighth grade, he joined San Diego’s Amateur-Athletic Union circuit where he played for the North Coast Blue Chips. This is where he became a young star in the basketball community playing alongside Bronny James. Bronny’s presence garnered a lot of attention especially since his father Lebron James would be courtside at the games. Mikey reaped the benefits of the crowds and cameras to build his brand with amazing performances. 

After playing for the Compton Magic in 2019, he decided to play his freshman year at San Ysidro High School where he became a young superstar. Mikey had a set of performances that separated him from the competition.

He debuted for the Cougars on November 20, 2019, and put up 46 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. The Cougars defeated the El Cajon Braves 98-46. Mikey scored 50 points in the next game versus the Mission Bay Buccaneers and, on December 20, he had the best performance of his high school career. He scored 77 points while making nine 3-pointers, in a 116-52 victory over the Kearny High Comets. His averages for the season were 26.6 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.3 STLS.

These performances increased his notoriety even more, and he began to receive offer letters from multiple division-1 schools. His mailbox was filled with offers from Kansas, LSU, Tennessee, and Memphis. On November 5, 2022, Mikey announced his commitment to the Memphis Tigers to player under Head Coach Penny Hardaway. The former NBA All-Star has been the head coach since 2018, and he is an alumnus of the University himself. 

He signed his letter of intent on November 16th, officially making him a Tiger. Mikey had everything put in place after working so hard to get his scholarship. He accumulated numerous NIL deals with Puma, LaceClips, and Cash App while still in high school. Little did he know it would all be jeopardized with one emotional mistake. On the evening of March 27th, Williams was residing at his home in Jamul, California when an altercation occurred. 

Five individuals arrived at his mansion unannounced ,and asked for a walk-through of the residence out of curiosity. Williams allegedly brandished a firearm, and discharged it at the vehicle of the individuals as they were leaving after an argument had occurred. It was a 2023 rented Tesla that was being driven by an Uber driver, and the unwanted visitors were about to leave the property when the gun was allegedly fired damaging the vehicle. The next day, One of the passengers reported the incident to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

On April 13th, Mikey was arrested on five charges of assault with a deadly weapon, and he was released the next day on a $50,000 bond. Due to the magnitude of the charges, Williams was facing 28 years in prison if convicted of the felonies, but the judge agreed to drop the charges to a misdemeanor after Williams agreed to a plea deal. He is now facing one count of making criminal threats. In order for this to happen, the Judge ordered that he must complete anger management, and gun safety courses by August 2024.

The University of Memphis and Coach Hardaway have defended Mikey, and they announced he will remain on the roster until further notice. His status with the university has not changed, but his public image has been tarnished due to the allegations. Some of the premier companies that signed him to an NIL deal have decided to part ways. Mikey lost his NIL deal with the sportswear brand LaceClips. LaceClips President, Jonathan Nussbaum, announced Williams was no longer involved with the brand. “He is not someone who will be associated with our brand.” Nussbaum said, “We are not continuing our partnership with Mikey Williams.”  Nussbaum also revealed that Mikey missed numerous scheduled appearances, violating the terms of his contract. 

Mikey also lost the lucrative Puma deal that he signed in 2021. He became the first ever American high school athlete to sign a deal with a major global footwear & clothing brand. The company decided to cut ties due to the March incident and recent arrest. These are two of the bigger deals he accumulated on his rise to fame, but they are not the only NIL deals he's lost due to his arrest. 

 It is very unfortunate for him to have lost his endorsement deals, but the more important factors are on the court. Basketball has given him everything, and with one mistake he was on the verge of losing it all. The Memphis Tigers are on his side, and they are hoping his performances on the court will put him back in a positive light. The Tigers are ranked 1st in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) with a 7-2 record, and Mikey’s talent is a tremendous help to the team.

Now that he past this dark moment in his life, the future will be extremely bright. He still has alot of potential to be a good player, and make it to the NBA. Williams is also still very popular so teams could his marketability for revenue purposes, and work on his potential as a player the more he develops. Only time will tell what will happen to Michael Anthony Williams as his career continues.


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