Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jim Connors on the ACC Tournament

Thus far I've seen former Celtic great Kevin McHale checking out the talent at the ACC tournament in Greensboro, have noticed Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer taking in a ballgame from up close.....but by far, the biggest celebrity in the house these last few days has been Debra Williams. Debra who? Debra, mother of Wake Forest (and former Wake Forest Rolesville) center, Eric Williams. A charming, energetic, colorfully adorned woman known for her trademark hats, and passionate support of the Demon Deacons.

Debra was among the first people I looked for before the action got too hot and heavy on the floor. I knew she would be great TV. What I didn't know is that I would have to wait in line to speak to her on camera. A slightly more high profile network (one of those televising the games) slid in ahead of me. Media clogged up an aisle for an entire halftime to shoot a feature on her. It's little wonder why we in the media are held in contempt.

My primary questions for her, should Eric have left Wake Forest a year ago and how difficult has it been enduring an absolutely atrocius year, one which saw Wake Forest finish in the ACC cellar. Debra insisted it's all been worthwhile. Her son enjoys spending time with his teammates, they are a closenit group. She says the NBA will still be there (hopefully with Eric going as a first round draft pick). No matter how far her son goes, no matter how big the paycheck, the most fun will continue to be watching her patented pancakes be devoured by big Eric.

Eric has his hands full today with Duke center Shelden Williams. The two share a friendship that dates back to high school. Eric says they always play each other clean, and he enjoys their battles.

Win, lose or draw, Mom will be there in the stands....cheering him on, ready to fix a homecooked meal to celebrate...or help get over the hurt. And before that, sure to enjoy a bunch more facetime than either Shelden or Eric.

-Jim Connors

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