HomeMichiganFrom second grade to Michigan, both Dickinson and Williams grew up together
From second grade to Michigan, both Dickinson and Williams grew up together
November 2, 2022
Bruce Shingler looks at it fondly.
Years ago, when he coached the DC Assault AAU team, which included the fourth-year version of Terrance Williams II, now a Michigan forward, he remembers a giant elementary school student who was causing problems for his team.
So Shingler hired Williams to help him solve the problem.
“I didn’t want to play against Dickinson anymore, he’s too good,” Shingler told The Daily. “We had to put him on our team. So (I said) Terrance, “Go get him.” “
Yes, you read that right. These aren’t the words of a college or high school coach. These are the words of Williams’ fourth-grade basketball coach.
Because Dickinson and Williams go road, roadback.
The duo met even earlier than the basketball fourth-grade recruiting scene. First they merged back in second grade, competing against each other in the AAU circuit. This early competition laid the groundwork for an unbreakable bond that has grown even stronger over the decade.
That foundation grew as Shingler and Williams’ recruitment efforts were successful. Indeed, Dickinson joined Williams at DC Assault in the fifth grade, creating a juggernaut that no elementary-age basketball player expects to deal with.
“You see this progress, they were a little more advanced than the average 10-year-old,” remembers Shingler. “(Our team) has always been questioned that we are older than other people because of how great we are and how much we would win.”
It makes sense. When the average 10-year-old is terrorized in Dickinson by a kid who was already 180 cm tall and wearing sports goggles, he cannot help but call it a dishonest game and shout that it is not fair. Combine that with Williams, the big, goofy kid full of talent, and which poor fourth-grade second-team’s caring parent wouldn’t question his legality?
Because if it was illegal to be that talented and build stellar chemistry at court at the age of ten, Dickinson and Williams were breaking the law.
But it wasn’t always easy. There was strong competition not only locally but also nationwide. DC Assault was an entry-level rock star band, with many other teammates – such as Georgetown’s Jay Heath and Rhode Island’s Ishmael Leggett – also in D1’s later basketball career. So the team traveled against the best the country had to offer.
However, despite their enormous potential and development for the future, they were still kids at the end of the day – always having a good time.
“It was one infamous pillow fight that I always remember,” said Shingler. “One of them hit the trainer with a pillow, laughing and joking, and then it just turned into a big pillow fight where everyone laughed and joked.”
It’s not clear if Dickinson or Williams waved the first pillow, but it’s perfectly clear that the pair created lifelong memories – both on and off the pitch – from a very young age.
These memories helped build a bond that only grew stronger over the years.
As Dickinson and Williams continued their growth leading to high school – with Dickinson who had reached 6 feet 11 at age 15 – they started taking the game even more seriously, which included extra training outside of team play. Just as Dickinson joined Williams at DC Assault in fifth grade, Williams joined Dickinson in training with Evolution Basketball’s Alex Harris as high school approached.
These training sessions helped hone their skills, and Harris has always had a great time working with both of them – he continues to do so whenever he can set up their busy schedules.
While competition among themselves was limited in Evolution, it intensified as the pair joined Team Takeover AAU where they played leading up to and throughout high school.
“Nobody wants to lose to one of their best friends and give them the bragging rights,” Team Takeover coach Keith Stevens told The Daily. “When these guys blocked the corners and found themselves in between the lines, the friendship went out the door.”
While competing together in the AAU was their summer concert, during the high school season the competition took on a whole new form. Dickinson and Williams, brothers in almost every sense of the word, have taken different paths in their high school careers.
The routes that made them great rivals.
There was no quarrel between them now. They didn’t suddenly hate each other after they chose different schools and continued to play Team Takeover together. But Williams enrolled in Gonzaga High School in his freshman year while Dickinson went to Gonzaga’s biggest rival: DeMatha Catholic High School. This rivalry kept them competing for high stakes on a regular basis.
Both teams have competed nine times in these four years and it always got tough.
“They competed a lot against each other because we weren’t a big team,” Gonzaga coach Stephen Turner told The Daily. “… These were wars when the two fought against each other.”
It was Mike Jones – DeMathy’s coach at the time – who remembered perhaps the greatest war story of all.
Jones recalled that the two teams collided when they both finished second in the national ranking. Dickinson faced Williams, but Williams was unfazed. Williams started the game scoring three more three points from Dickinson.
And walking down the court after the third, he hit Dickinson with “a Jordan shrug.”
“(Was) basically (told) Hunter,” Will you protect me? ” Jones told The Daily. “We ended up losing the game and I remember the fire he lit at Hunter.”
Dickinson laughed the last of the series, winning 6-3 against Gonzaga in his high school career, but moments like these helped build their bond. Not only were these times of competing on the same team as when they played for AAU together, but also times when they were really torn apart – beating each other – influenced their parallel runs to the Michigan men’s basketball team.
But while they competed as enemies in high school, these battles paved the way for their paths to be leveled again.
It bore fruit in Ann Arbor.
When Dickinson and Williams – now both Michigan captains as juniors – play together this year, you’ll see their lifelong bond translate into chemistry on the pitch.
But ask the people who grew up with them and they’ll say they’ve seen it all the time.
“When they were both in their freshman year, I contacted (former Michigan coach) John Beilein and talked to him about both of them,” Harris said. “I just said,“ Hey, I know they’re really young, but they are Both perfect for michigan. “
Shingler – who failed to recruit them to South Carolina where he was a coach at the time – noticed it too. He told Michigan coach Juwan Howard, who was all over Dickinson on the recruiting track at the time, to keep an eye on Williams, telling Juwan, “He’s your type of guy.”
Turner, who only coached Williams, knew it was the same for both of them.
“Michigan will love these two who play together for minutes,” Turner said. “Because they really feed on each other… you can’t put a price on their relationship when it comes to knowing what the other person is thinking or wanting to do. You will see it.
During the Michigan media days on October 14, each player commanded a table to answer journalists’ questions. After more than ten years of competition with and against each other, Dickinson and Williams sat down just steps apart when asked to think about what it’s like to go from elementary school basketball to college captain together.
“It’s something I think is really special to us,” said Dickinson. “I am really happy that (Williams) is here with me. … He was really good when we were younger, like now … someone I admire. ”
At the table across from him, Williams echoed the same feeling.
“I’ve been through a lot with him, I felt so different when we were both elected captains,” said Williams. “… It’s surreal … You’re growing up with a childhood friend (and) now you’re playing basketball with him in one of the highest stages so it’s definitely a great feeling.
Two captains are carrying additional cargo. The only seniors on the team are transfers, making them and Captain Jace Howard’s fellow juniors the longest-serving Wolverines players. As a young team seeks leadership, it will focus on two children who have grown male together.
So if you looked at DMV’s youth basketball courts more than ten years ago, you would see Dickinson and Williams together. If you went to practice, you’d see Dickinson and Williams together.
If you went to the elite AAU circuits at DMV High, you would see Dickinson and Williams together. If you were to go to some of the DMV’s biggest high school basketball games, you’d see Dickinson and Williams competing against each other.
To know what their relationship consists of, how strong their bond is. Just look at the Crisler Center court this year and you’ll see Dickinson and Williams running Michigan.