AUGUSTA, Ga. — For Trevion Williams, the foot injury that ended his junior season at Ford Academy in Detroit just as the playoffs arrived hasn't just presented him significant physical hurdles, but mental ones as well.
"Hurting my foot makes me think a lot on the court," the Purdue commitment said Thursday evening at the Peach Invitational in Augusta. "Sometimes when I think too much, I may commit turnovers or over-pass. Little things get to me just because of this foot, because I can't play how I want to, but I still push through."
The injury — he fractured the fifth metatarsal in his foot, requiring surgery and the insertion of a screw to facilitate healing — took a more tangible toll.
Idled for weeks following surgery, Williams cracked 300 pounds, affecting his conditioning, stamina, mobility, etc., all already made into issues by the injury.
But, though limited, Williams was on the floor in April and May with his AAU team, The Family.
"I really wanted to get experience for the EYBL" Williams said of Nike's grassroots platform. "It's fast-paced, a great group of guys playing and great competition. I wanted to get a taste of it."
That he did, though with some difficulty.
"If I had to do it by percentage, I'd say 70," Williams said of his spring. "I wasn't that healthy, but I still pushed through."
Despite being hampered, his play was more than enough to sell Purdue on him. He was offered shortly after the late-April EYBL session in the Indianapolis area. By then, he held numerous other prominent offers, but Purdue resonated with him in particular.
It was the similarities Williams sees between himself and All-American Caleb Swanigan that landed him at Purdue. He committed after an unofficial visit in late June, choosing it over Xavier, Michigan State and others.
The comparison was central to Purdue's pitch to Williams, the blueprint it established with Swanigan and how it might be applicable to Williams, because of his size and uncommon skill for those dimensions.
Purdue used Swanigan as both an old-school, jumbo power forward and as a center. It used him both facing the basket and backing up to it and ran offense through him to highlight his advanced passing.
"Same exact thing," Williams said of Purdue's plan for him.
Even before Purdue offered Williams, he'd spoken often about Swanigan being the foundation of his interest in the Boilermakers, now one of the central reasons he committed to them.
It's a mouthful of a comparison, considering the player-of-the-year sort of season Swanigan just enjoyed at Purdue. But it's an association Williams says he'll embrace.
"The body, the game, the playing style — everything's the same," Williams said. "I feel like that's why the liked me so much and compared me to him.
"When I get there I hope to have a similar career to Caleb Swanigan."
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