Paul Williamson said he’s still undecided on where he’s going to play college basketball next season.
Williamson, a Harts native and former standout player for four years at Logan High School, was a walk-on this year at West Virginia but left WVU at season’s end as Mountaineers’ assistant coach Jerrod Calhoun took the vacant Fairmont State University job.
Fairmont State, which signed Logan seniors Trevor Andrews-Evans and Stevie Browning and also stacked its roster recently with the signing of Ohio prep standouts Ke’Chaun Lewis and Joey Vuyancih, is in the running.
“There’s a couple of schools that I’m looking at,” Williamson told The Logan Banner on Monday. “I’ve been in contact with Georgia, UC and Fairmont. There’s a couple of schools but I really haven’t decided yet but I’m looking to make a decision soon. There are some Division I schools on the table if I want to sit out a year and work. Or I can step right into a Division II school and play right away.”
WVU went 19-14 in Williamson’s lone season with the Mountaineers, falling 77-54 to Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center.
Williamson, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, playing in 20 games off the bench for WVU, averaging 1.1 points and 4.6 minutes per game. Williamson’s playing time seemed to grow over the season due to his 3-point marksmanship. He hit 41.2 percent from 3-point land on the season.
“It was a great experience. I had a pretty decent year there,” Williamson said. “But things happened. The coach that got me there left. I had a pretty good stint and got to play in the NCAA Tournament and the Big East Tournament.”
Although WVU lost to the Zags in the NCAA Tournament, Williamson said it was a great experience just to be a part of it. Williamson played four minutes and didn’t score as he was 0-for-2 from the floor. He did record two rebounds and a blocked shot during his time on the floor.
“That was an experience of a lifetime just to know that I actually played there in the the NCAA Tournament,” Williamson said. “It was a blessing. It was definitely my most memorable moment by far just to be on the court and see the big blue NCAA logo and you look up and there’s 20,000 fans.”
Williamson also had a chance to play on perhaps college and pro basketball’s most hallowed floor — New York’s Madison Square Garden — when WVU played in the Big East Tournament on March 7 when the Mountaineers lost 71-67 in overtime to UConn. Williamson got into the game, playing less than a minute and missing his only shot attempt.
It was an odd year in the Williamson’s Harts household.
As Paul Herbert played for WVU, his sister Andi Williamson was a standout pitcher with the Marshall softball team. Paul and Andi’s dad Andy Paul Williamson, was a former basketball player at Marshall in the 1980s.
Paul Williamson said, however, the rigors of Division I men’s basketball didn’t allow for much time to come home and visit.
“I really didn’t get a chance to see anyone. There was like two days in the whole year,” he said. “It’s a whole different world when you are playing up there. It’s completely different. You have 5 a.m. workouts every day, even on Sundays. It’s non-stop basketball.”
Williamson said he liked playing for WVU coach Bob Huggins.
“Hugs is a great coach,” Williamson said. “He’s a great guy. I hope everything works out well at West Virginia. He wanted me to stay. He talked to me to get me to stay but with Coach Calhoun leaving it was just difficult for me to stay there. He’s at Fairmont and that’s a possibility.”
Last week, Huggins annouced the hiring of assistant coach Ron Everhart to replace Calhoun. Everhart, a Fairmont native, had previously been the head coach at Division I schools Duquesne, Northeastern and McNeese State.
Williamson came to WVU last fall as a walk-on, reportedly turning down Division I scholarship offers from BYU, Utah, Utah State and UC-Riverside.