BILLINGS — Driving, assisting, scoring or swatting, Billings Skyview’s Breanna Williams is both punishing and magical on a basketball court.
Two years after leading the Falcons to their biggest win in school history – the team’s first State AA title — Williams has the 6-0 Falcons turning heads again.
“You know, we really key in on our defense,” the team-oriented Williams told MTN Sports before a recent practice.
“Everybody likes their stats, but her first question has always been, what’s my (number of) assists," Falcons girls basketball head coach Randy Chase said. "She knows that if she gets everybody involved what it’s going to mean for the team. And that’s her ultimate goal, March 9, 6 p.m., state tournament."
In the meantime, Skyview faces a strong Billings West team Saturday at 2 p.m.
Often soft-spoken, Williams admits teammates have no trouble hearing her on the court.
“Yes, they can her me," she said with a laugh. "Even though I have my mouth guard in I tend to yell a lot.”
MVP of Montana's 2022 Class AA state tournament as a sophomore, Williams followed it up last season earning Gatorade Montana Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors. She's a big-time player headed to the Big Ten Conference after signing with the University of Maryland in November amid heavy nationwide recruiting interest.
“Honestly, it was just kind of a gut feeling," she said. "The thing that blew me away – and my parents – was the fact that they took time to make a video and compared me to another player and how I would fit into their program."
Notably, Maryland's campus is less than nine miles from the White House.
Inside the Falcons' gymnasium, teammates acknowledge how contagious one player’s success can be.
"We celebrate each other here, so seeing her do such amazing things just gives the whole program so much motivation to go do something big,” said guard-forward and friend Rae Smart.
Williams is considered a Top 50 player in the nation by multiple outlets including ESPN. She was one of only three signed by Maryland in November.
Commenting on Williams during the Fall signing day, Terps head coach Brenda Frese said, "She's a scorer, a ferocious rebounder and defender. She knows how to compete and win."
All true – and a lot of other college programs realize it judging from the abundance of recruiting interest over the last few years.
"I wear a size 12 shoe... so, I have four shoe boxes full of college letters.”
Williams just found out she’s also up for maybe the most prestigious national honor in high school basketball — the McDonald’s All-America game in Houston on April 2. The 6-2 forward finds out a week from Tuesday whether she’s one of 24 players in the country to make the cut.
Montana’s only female ever to play in that showcase was Missoula’s Joslyn Tinkle, part of three Final Four teams with Stanford. Williams smiles at the thought of gladly accepting an invitation.
What you may not know about the basketball standout is, she also played two years of golf at Skyview. How’s her game?
“It’s rough right now,” she said with another laugh.
We now know there’s at least one setting where she’s human.