KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A metro basketball sensation is turning heads and breaking ankles even before stepping foot into high school.
Jada Williams puts in the work to be good at basketball.
“Immediately, right after our first session, you can pretty much tell when people have it,” trainer Marcus Walker said.
It started when she was young.
“In like the second grade, when I got kicked out of the YMCA, so I went to play with the boys,” Williams said. “When I walked into the first practice, the team was all boys.”
“And they were like, ‘What are you doing here?’ And I was like, ‘Just wait till we start playing,’ cause they were already talking stuff, and then we started playing and they was like, ‘Dang, we’re going to be good.'”
“When all the other small kids were doing basketball for fun, she definitely was more serious about it,” her mother Jill Williams said.
Quite serious, especially for a girl who hasn’t played high school hoops yet.
But after a quick watch, just like the boys realize, the world is seeing her talent.
After being featured by popular national basketball site Overtime and even an appearance on HBO, Williams’ young hoops career has already earned her a massive following — over 163,000 followers on Instagram.
Marcus Walker of Grindhouse Basketball is her trainer.
“It’s a person’s demeanor, the way they carry themselves, their attitude. And I felt that at her age for her to handle herself to that degree, it set a tone and a standard for who she was,” he said.
Is it a lot for a player at her age to deal with the social media fame?
“Instagram’s to have fun. There’s a lot of bad stuff that comes with it, but I don’t really look in to that part,” Williams said. “I look into the good parts, how I meet new people and just being a kid.”
Already she’s made an appearance on a USA national team, has multiple offers from D-1 college and she met Kobe Bryant.
“I would say it’s humbling and just getting to experience things that most kids don’t get to experience,” Williams said. “I just think I soak it all up and just have fun.”
Now she gets to focus on her high school career after a summer consisting of trips to New Orleans, Dallas and Orlando.
“I just use it as motivation that the college coaches think that what I’m doing is going to pay off,” Williams said.
And she has a bright future ahead to be one of the best ever in KC.
“It’s been a lot of great people to come out of Kansas City, but as far as recognition and just a national brand, regardless of male or female, she has to be at the top,” Walker said.