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Lady Saints’ Aaliyah Williams signs with Southern University New Orleans

St. Louis Catholic senior post player Aaliyah Williams signed her national letter of intent to play basketball at Southern University in New Orleans on Monday.

Surrounded by her family and the Saints community, Williams made her college decision official in a ceremony in the Commons.  Southern head coach Lynika Collins said Williams’ tenacity grabbed her attention when the Lady Saints played in New Orleans at the St. Mary’s tournament during the 2018-19 season.

“Aaliyah plays so well on offense and defense; she gets up and down the floor real well,” said Collins, who enters her first year coaching the Lady Knights. “I’m looking forward to having her for the next four years at Southern University.  She’ll be an excellent fit for what we’re trying to build.  I’m trying to start a foundation from the ground up as a first-year head coach, and I think she’ll fit perfectly.”

Williams played basketball for St. Louis Catholic and Coach Tony Johnson since her freshman year, and her hard work paid off with second-team All-District 4-3A honors as a senior.  Johnson praised Williams’ leadership and predicted a strong future for her at SUNO.

“She’s probably the best post player in all our district this year,” Johnson said.  “I think Aaliyah can be successful at Southern, both academically and with the close-knit family team they have there.  We want to keep bringing the St. Louis tradition around the state of Louisiana!”

Williams joins fellow senior Alexandria Goodly as the two Lady Saints seniors to sign with collegiate basketball programs this year.  (Goodly signed with ULL in November).  The Lady Saints advanced all the way to the Division II state championship game this season and finished as state runner-up.  Williams said her teammates “turned into her sisters,” and she’ll cherish her memories made at St. Louis Catholic.

“Practices were always a great time,” Williams recalled.  “We did a lot of running, but we would always laugh about how tired we were afterward, so I’m really going to miss that.  But I’m excited to move on to the next chapter of my life.  It’s going to be a great experience for me.”