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Men’s Basketball: Williams has one little reason he’s a Cajun

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, March 15, 2016



UL Ragin’ Cajuns guard Tiremone Williams (23) drives the ball toward the goal during a college basketball game against the Loyola Wolf Pack at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. (Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)


As he was in the second season of his career at Western Texas College, where he averaged 6.8 points per game in 2013-14, Tiremone Williams had no doubt where he wanted to play next.

All the Abbeville High product thought about was heading home and playing down the road at UL.

A little guy was perhaps his biggest reason. Some other family, too.

“I have a kid,” Williams said of his son, 3-year-old Traidyn Tiremone Williams.

“So I knew he would (go) to my games — and my dad (Tiremone Bernard), my mom (Varanise Williams). And I’d been wanting to play for coach (Bob) Marlin — so it’s (been) very fun.”

Two years later, Williams — who scored 22 in a 2011 Class 3A semifinal to lead Abbeville to that year’s state championship game — couldn’t be happier about his decision to walk on where he did.

With the 17-14 Ragin’ Cajuns eliminated last Saturday from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in New Orleans by No. 1 seed Arkansas-Little Rock, but playing Wednesday night at the Cajundome against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, the reserve point guard’s Cajun career will come to a close with either UL’s next loss or a CIT championship.

Whatever happens, he’s just happy to have had the experience.

Traidyn Tiremone was born when Williams was off playing at his junior college in Texas, and Dad simply knew he had to get back.

UL already was recruiting one of Williams’ Texas Western teammates, current Cajuns senior starting power forward Devonta Walker.

Around the same time, Williams reminded Marlin he was available.

“I kind of reached out to Coach Marlin,” he said. “In high school, he had wanted me to play for him — so I kept that in mind, and when I finished juco I still wanted to play for Coach Marlin.”

Marlin, whose own son Matt Marlin is a senior walk-on with the Cajuns this season, was all for it.

With Elfrid Payton off to the NBA to play for the Orlando Magic, UL needed a backup to scholarship point Jay Wright.

Williams wound up playing in 16 games last season, averaging 0.6 points in mostly mop-up action — but 20 minutes in a game against UL Monroe, and 13 against Troy.

He also had a career-high five assists in a CIT postseason win at Incarnate Word last year.

He’s appeared in 26 games this season, averaging 6.9 minutes and 1.2 points and getting three starts.

When Wright double-dislocated a finger in the first half of a late-season visit to Troy, Williams took over at the point and shot 3-for-4 from the field and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line to score a career-high 10 points and help the Cajuns secure the No. 4 seed and a one-game bye in the Sun Belt tourney.

“That’s kind of the (career) highlight,” Williams said.

“Earlier in the day Coach Marlin pulled the seniors aside and said he needed the seniors to step up, and when Jay got hurt I just felt like I needed (to do that), so I did.”

But that’s on the floor.

Off the court, the highlight has been knowing who has been in the stands watching.

Traidyn Tiremone might not know now the significance of playing for an NCAA Division I program, but he does have a grasp on what his old man most likes to do.

“He’s like, ‘Dad, do you have a game today? Are you gonna play basketball today?’ ” Williams said. “So he kind of knows. He’ll never forget it.”

And the rest of the family?

The feeling is much like when he first arrived at UL.

“They were just happy I was gonna be home playing,” he said, “because in Texas they couldn’t see me every game.”