Some of you guys (and gals) might not know or remember Victor Williams. He was basically a multimillionaire’s Kirby Gardner if you need a present-day comp. Fast as hell (Kelvin Sampson once said “there’s quick, then there’s Vic Williams”), and absolutely clutch (see video above — I love Sampson sprinting to midcourt), he was always a fan favorite.
Hope you enjoy the interview…
Amilian: First, to this day is there any doubt in your mind you got the shot off before the buzzer to beat OU in 2003?
Vic: Lots of doubt as I look at the replay! Let’s just say that I’m glad they could review it in 2003. I think I got it off a little late. Let’s just go with home court advantage.
Amilian: What is the most important thing you learned while playing under Eddie?
Vic: How to be tough minded. No excuses and refuse to lose!
Amilian: You were part of the team that experienced one of the worst tragedies in the history of sports. How does it impact your life 11 years later?
Vic: It still impacts every day of my life. That was by far the toughest year of my life. Still to this day I have no idea how we made it through that year. All ten of those guys were great men. I take the lesson of treasuring every day and valuing your relationship with people because God has his own plan. Experiencing that made me a better person. I’m certain all ten of those guys would appreciate making us all better people!!
Amilian: What was the most memorable game for you at OSU? My guesses would be Mizzou after the crash or your buzzer beater game vs OU.
Vic: The Mizzou game is # 1 because what it meant for so many people and what it would have meant for the 10. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Those guys was were there with us, no doubt about it!!
2nd favorite is coach Sutton 700 win at Texas. I had never seen him happier. He has given me so much. I was so happy to be a part of that moment for him. He is a lot heavier than I thought! Carrying him off the floor was a task! Let’s just say I’m glad it was not after one of my bad games, he probably would of chewed me out so bad throughout the game and that would have been a perfect time to drop him!! Haha! Only kidding. I absolutely love the guy and was happy for him!
Amilian: Do you have an interesting story from your OSU basketball days?
Vic: My junior year I missed a few classes and coach was very upset with me. He called me into his office and told me not to miss another class or else. Two days later I decided to miss again (being a hard-headed lazy kid). He called me into his office and asked me how class was, not knowing that he went and checked on me. I answered “great coach I learned a lot”. Let’s just say I ran more that day than I ran my whole life combined. Sad day for Victor Williams.
Amilian: Do you still follow OSU basketball? I believe I heard you talked to one of the teams in recent years in the locker room. If so, when was that and what did you talk about? What needs to change to get our program back to consistently making the NCAA tournament?
Vic: Coach called me in after a game in 2004 early in the season. I just gave them a ra-ra speech, nothing major as you well know those guys went to the final four that year so they did not need my help at all!!
Of course I keep up with OSU basketball. It’s a huge part of my life and forever will be! We had a couple down years, but we will be back. Coach Ford does a great job with the guys. We were hit hard by the injury bug last year and it’s tough to win when you have your studs sitting in street clothes. No doubt in my mind we will be back on top the Big 12 very soon!
Amilian: Why did you decide to transfer from Illinois State to OSU after your freshmen year?
Vic: My head Coach Kevin Stallings, who now is the head coach at Vanderbilt, decided to leave so I wanted to test the waters. Coach Sutton offered me a scholarship and the rest is history. If you get a chance to play for a legend it’s a no brainer!!!
Amilian: Why did you start the VWBA? What does it primarily focus on? How did your life experiences impact your focus on VWBA?
Vic: Coach told me that he thought I would be a good coach, so I thought it was only fitting that I get into coaching. I listen to everything he said (he probably would not agree with that). I love kids and have a passion to see the different stages of growth. That’s what my academy is all about, teaching kids how not to get too high or too low while keeping your eyes on the prize! Check out my website www.basics2beyond.com
Amilian: What do you miss most about OSU?
Vic: Easy answer! The People! I miss all you guys!
OSU teammate you talk to most these days: Terrance Crawford (we all stay in good contact)
Teammate you would have picked first to go into battle with: Tony Allen
Most underrated OSU teammate: Cheyne Gadson
Use three words to describe Eddie: passionate / love / GOAT (greatest of all time)
Three words to describe Gallagher-Iba (can’t use ‘loud” – that’s too obvious): intimidating / fierce / tough