MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – “I know that it happened but I don‘t know how to feel right now. I’m trying to figure out what will make me snap into it and realize the hard work paid off,” said Williamson basketball coach Shumbe Hunter.
The Williamson Lions recently became the first Mobile County Public School to win a boys basketball title since 2007. Despite being ranked near the top of the 4A rankings all year, it wasn’t until the holidays that coach Hunter started to see a trip to Legacy Arena in the team’s future.
“At the Christmas break. You could start to see players coming into themselves, they were listening more and becoming more coachable,” said coach Hunter.
The Lions tested themselves all year playing top competition, but it’s hard to fully get your team ready for a tip to the Final Four.
“Those lights were bright, they really were,” joked coach Hunter. “It kind of threw me a little bit when I walked out to the court, I thought man – the sounds and the big jumbotron up top.”
The Lions took down Brooks High School in the semi-finals, and beat Talladega in the championship game. On the game’s biggest stage, Wiliamson played their best basketball.
“I have to tell you Robby we were different that night. I didn’t realize until I watched the film, but I was watching the film and I saw things that I haven’t seen in my guys all year,” said coach Hunter.
In their biggest game of the year, Williamson also got some help from former Lion Tycorey Crawford.
“He was there, and that’s a spiritual thing,” said coach Hunter. “If you’re a spiritual person you can feel that without seeing and you believe that without seeing.”
Crawford was shot and killed in March of last year and Williamson dedicated their season to their former teammate.
Crawford’s mom also addressed the team before they took the court for the championship game.
“He stayed with us, and he’ll continue to be here as long as Williamson is here,” said coach Hunter.
Williamson bringing a blue map back to the Port City as it turns out was about much more than just basketball. It helped uplift an entire community.
“We needed that positive thing to happen so that we know – hey that’s still here,” said coach Hunter.