Spotlight Bright as Mikey Williams Makes His High School Debut

The top-ranked player in 2023 has more than a million Instagram followers, without playing a single high school game.

San Ysidro boys basketball coach Terry Tucker likes what he's seeing from his squad.

"We're fast, athletic, we score a lot of points. We get after it."

A big reason for that optimism is the presence of a freshman, who was named the top player in the Class of 2023 by Coast 2 Coast Preps.

Mikey Williams has shown what he can do for Tucker's teams in recent offseasons. 

"We've been really good in the summer," Tucker said. "Then after the summer's over he's got to go back to playing seventh and eighth grade ball, and we gotta go back to playing varsity ball without him."

Those days are over. On Wednesday, the 15-year-old will play in the first high school game of his life. 

"I'm probably gonna have butterflies just because I'm so excited," Mikey said. 

In that sense, he sounds like any other freshman. But the hype around his debut is far from ordinary.

"It's good of course, all the positive energy," Mikey explains. "But it's pretty overwhelming." 

That's saying something coming from a kid who's no stranger to the spotlight.

Just check his Instagram profile. 

"He has a million followers right now," Tucker explained. "He doesn't play his first high school game until Wednesday." 

That's no exaggeration: one million followers. Mikey himself is blown away by his social media stardom.

"Everything in my life has been happening so fast," Mikey said. "I'm kind of just used to all the overwhelming stuff and all the craziness.

"It hit me the other day, I was like 'dang I really got a million people that follow and support what I do.'"

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A post shared by MW1 (@mikey) on Nov 12, 2019 at 5:47pm PST

Even with all the praise, Mikey has a lot he wants to prove in his first season. 

"I want to win a CIF State title of course," he said. "I want to get Gatorade Player of the Year, that's what I'm going to work for. A lot of people think it's kind of impossible as a freshman to have such a big impact on the game.

"I want to prove to everybody wherever I am I can get it done."

Williams has chosen to do that at San Ysidro - for a coach that's known him since he was born, and who he describes as family. And he's keeping his game in the city he calls home - despite opportunities to join big name programs elsewhere. 

"A lot of people leave their cities because they think that the better opportunity is somewhere else, but I'm going to just show everybody that I can get done what I need to get done in San Diego my hometown." 

A city that will be formally introduced to the budding star in the weeks and months to come. 

"It's gonna be an exciting season for sure."

The Cougars tip off the season Wednesday at 5:30 at home against El Cajon Valley.

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