The Cedar Valley has helped cultivate some incredible athletes over the years. AJ Green of UNI basketball, Jack Campbell with Iowa footballRoss Pierschbacher at Alabama and the New York Jets, etc. NCAA Division I-level athletes come out of the area every single year.

It's time to add Waterloo West's Sahara Williams to the list.

Last night, the soon-to-be senior announced her verbal commitment to play for the Oklahoma Sooners basketball program.

Williams averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3.7 steals per game last season as a junior for the Wahawks. So far in her career, Williams has put up 1,169 points, 502 rebounds, 274 assists, and 231 steals.

Over the last several years, Williams has received scholarship offers from other Division I programs including Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, USC, DePaul, and others.

Dr. Anthony Pappas, who coaches the Wahawks girls basketball squad, said this to The Courier in regards to how he felt about Williams' commitment:

Happy and proud. OU is a great place with a great coach. Sahara felt really good about committing early to them. It’s a good fit for her.

Pappas told the Courier that his 5'11 forward had been recruited by Oklahoma head coach Jennie Baranczyk all the way back to her middle school days. Baranczyk used to be the head woman for the basketball program at Drake.

Jennie has been recruiting here for years since her time at Drake. Jennie and her staff flew up several times this year to watch Sahara play,

he added.

Last year, the Sooners went 25-9 overall and 12-6 in the Big 12 Conference. Their season came to an end in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in a loss to Notre Dame.

Waterloo West will look to avenge their 2021-2022 5A state championship loss this year with Williams leading the way.

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