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The Mikey Williams Saga: A Knight Fighting For Redemption

After experiencing the kind of career adversity that Hollywood films are made out of, Mikey Williams is finally getting a fresh start and a new beginning. On the evening of March 27th, 2023, Williams was involved in an altercation with five individuals who arrived at his mansion unannounced. He allegedly brandished a firearm and shot at the vehicle while the individuals were leaving the residence, and a few days later, one of the passenger reported the incident to the San Diego Community Sheriff's Office.  

Two weeks later on April 13th, Williams was arrested on five felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. During his first hearing in October, Judge Sherry M. Thompson, ordered him to stand trial. He accepted a plea deal to have five counts of aggravated assault dropped to a one-count misdemeanor of making criminal threats. He has to complete gun safety courses, and anger management courses by August 2024 for the charges to be lowered.

 After previously covering the incident in “The Setback Of A Young Superstar: The Trial Of Michael Anthony Williams,” everything seemed like it was turning out in his favor. Unfortunately, when Mikey reported to the Memphis Tigers things began to unravel. Throughout the 2023-2024 season so far, Mikey has not played at all, and the public believes it is due to his arrest last year. On January 8th, he decided to enter the transfer portal to chase his dream of making it to the NBA. On January 11th, He announced via Instagram that he would be transferring to the University Of Central Florida with the caption "All I needed was a chance,"

Led by Head Coach Johnny Dawkins, The Knights are currently ranked 12th in the BIG-12 conference with a record of 10-5 as of January 14th. Through their last seven games, they are 4-3 with two of those losses coming from Kansas State and Ole Miss. Both teams are really good, and the Knights bounced back with a win over the #3 ranked Kansas Jayhawks after losing to the KS Wildcats by 25 points. This was a massive upset win for the Knights, and Coach Dawkins was ecstatic about their performance that night.

 Dawkins addressed the win during the post-game press conference. “We kept believing, and our guys kept fighting," Dawkins said. "We got off to a really good start in the game. They have a championship pedigree. A championship program. Great coach. And I feel like guys just kept fighting. We knew we couldn't get it all back in one possession. So what we wanted to do was chip away, chip away. And I thought we did that by halftime, and we carried that momentum into the second half." Dawkins began his Head Coaching tenure for the Knights back in 2016, and his only negative season was during the 2020-2021 school year. After seven seasons with the Knights, his record is 141-92 , and an overall coaching record of 297-207 with 16 years of experience.

Mikey is transferring to a school that could be tailor-made for him, and He has the skill set to fit in with the team right away. They are aware of his legal issues, and the UCF administration still allowed him to join the team. Coach Dawkins possesses the intensity that could take Mikey’s game to the next level, and He needs the discipline to do so. They could potentially bond over their mutual love for basketball. Johnny was drafted in the 1986 NBA Draft and played nine years before retiring in 1995 on the Detroit Pistons. He also received a jersey retirement (#24) from the Duke Blue Devils in honor of his tenure there. These achievements are pieces of experience and wisdom that he could pass on to Mikey.

Williams has lived a lavish lifestyle in his teens due to his numerous NIL deals, and after losing some of them, he has to rebuild his reputation. he’ll have to gain back the respect of the public game by game and remind people why he’s on the world stage. While at Memphis, Penny Hardaway didn’t give Mikey any playing time and was only allowed to practice, resulting in no college stats yet for the former MaxPreps National Freshman Of The Year

He is still only 19 years old, so he has plenty of time to make up some of the opportunities he missed while on the bench. He’s competing in the BIG-12 and There are a lot of good guards he will have to face. Players like Max Ambas from Texas and Tylor Perry from Kansas State could potentially be major adversaries for him.

We will see how his scoring ability coincides with Dawkin’s offense. Junior point guard, Jaylin Sellers, is the leading scorer of the Knights with 17.8 points per game. Jaylin has struggled shooting the three this season averaging 28.4%, and the inclusion of Mikey could add more spacing on the floor for better shot opportunities. Williams is a combo guard so he can compliant sellers in the backcourt with no issue. The biggest concern is how Mikey will adjust to the collegiate level because as of January 14th, we have yet to see him perform on it. 

Mikey is one of the most polarizing figures in sports right now and he has yet to turn 20. He still receives a lot of positive messages online from his supporters, but there are also people wishing for his ultimate downfall. Williams has been in the spotlight since he was in middle school, and some online spectators who have followed his career assume that he has a “spoiled kid” type of mentality. He was a millionaire before the age of 20 and achieved all of his high school acclaim due to his hard work on the court. As he begins a new chapter at UCF, Williams now has the chance to do something positive and prove all of his doubters wrong.

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