But Williams' ventures aren't limited to just trying to bring collegiate-level athletics to prominence in Huntington.
Recently, he announced a deal with Huntington Prep boys basketball to allow the Irish to use Big Sandy Superstore Arena for eight to 10 games during the 2013-14 season.
Huntington Prep has been in the national spotlight for the last two years with Andrew Wiggins, the Class of 2013's top recruit who landed at the University of Kansas.
While Wiggins has moved on, the success of Huntington Prep and coach Rob Fulford has not. The Irish -- formerly the Express -- once again have a loaded roster with six players ranked in the top 50 nationally for the classes of 2014 and 2015.
Williams, who grew up in Princeton, W.Va., just 30 miles from Fulford's hometown of Mullens, said they talked on several occasions leading up to the agreement and both share a similar vision to continue to keep Huntington in the national spotlight in interscholastic athletics.
"We talk the same language and when I see what he's doing, I'm so proud of him," Williams said of Fulford. "When he's coaching the national teams at these large tournaments and having the top coaches in the nation come to his clinics or to watch his games, that's an indication of what I keep trying to say to everyone -- you can get there from here."
Last season, Fulford and Huntington Prep played many games at Spring Valley High School, but for bigger competition the team went on the road, leading to a frenzy with Wiggins' recruitment heating up.
Fans camped out in front of venues to watch Wiggins and Huntington Prep when they came to town, leading Williams to think, 'Why not Huntington?'
"If you just think of last year with the team they had, we would've been filling the Big Sandy arena," Williams said. "Coach Fulford and I were talking and whatever we need to do to make this work, this is a good investment for us. I'm a businessman first and foremost. I love sports, but this makes good business sense for Huntington.
"What I'm really looking forward to are those TV games. We are actually having the floor redone to have the Huntington name all over it and everything. It will be in the national spotlight."
The new agreement with Huntington Prep adds a major piece to Williams' puzzle of trying to incorporate sports in Huntington at every level.
October 29 | Read More
Just because Andrew Wiggins has moved on from Huntington Prep to Kansas doesn't mean we're finished hearing about coach Rob Fulford's squad. Miles Bridges, a member of the Class of 2016, pulled off this alley-oop at the team's dunk contest, which made its way to the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter's Top 10.
Credit to guard Pau Serena for the pass off of his head, too.
October 23 | Read More
It's that time of year again. School is back in session and some new (much taller) students are roaming the halls of St. Joe.
Here is a look at the roster for Huntington Prep for the 2013-2014 season.
The lone returner is Montaque Gill-Caesar, a 6'6" rising junior who had an outstanding summer on the AAU scene. Montaque or as we know him, "Teki", averaged just under 14 points a game last season and is currently ranked top 20 in his class.
Joining Gill Caesar this season is a strong and experienced group of seniors. Point guard Josh Perkins (6'3") comes to Huntington from Colorado and just recently committed to Gonzaga. He is known as one of the top passers in the country. JaQuan Lyle, a 6-5 guard who was committed to Louisville and comes to us from Evansville, Indiana. Also in the backcourt is a pair of senior guards from Nashville, Tennessee, Coleman Spann (6’4”) and Jalen Lindsey (6’7”). Lindsey is committed to Providence.
Angel Delgado is the senior big man this season and at 6’9”, Delgado is a defensive presence and has committed to Seton Hall.
Other juniors besides Gill-Caesar are 6’10” Levi Cook, 6’9” Thomas Bryant and 6’3” Pau Serena. Cook hails from the state of West Virginia and is committed to West Virginia University. Bryant is from Rochester, N.Y. and is currently a member of Team USA and Serena is considered one of the top guards in Spain.
Miles Bridges (6’7”) and Ivan Gandia (6'1") are the only two sophomores on the team. Bridges is from Flint, Michigan and Gandia is from Puerto Rico. Gandia plays for the Puerto Rican national team.
The youngster of the group is Danny Vitiello, a 6' freshman from Dominican Republic by way of Puerto Rico.
The team is again coached by Rob Fulford and assisted by Arkell Bruce, Dave Meddings, Ryan Arrowood and Baker Neal.
First game is at home October 30th.
August 26 | Read More
All workouts/practices will be held at:
Phil Cline Center
917 9th Street Huntington, WV
First week NCAA coaches can attend.
Workout 3:45 - 4:45 Play 5:00 - 6:30
Skill Development 5:00 - 6:30
Workout 3:45 - 4:45 Play 5:00 - 6:30
Skill Development 5:00 - 6:30
Workout 3:45 - 4:45 Play 5:00 - 6:30
Remaining weeks schedule will be similar to week one for the pre-season. Please contact a member of the coaching staff for changes or questions.
August 26 | Read More
HUNTINGTON — Huntington Prep’s Montaque Gill-Caesar considers Kansas phenom Andrew Wiggins to be family.
That doesn’t mean Gill-Caesar wants to be the next Andrew Wiggins, though.
Instead, he wants to be ‘the first Teki’, which is his nickname. This summer, he’s doing a pretty good job of promoting his own brand name.
“I know the comparisons are there because we've taken the same route thus far, but in the same breath, I’m trying to make a name for myself and just be my own player,” Gill-Caesar said on Tuesday.
Gill-Caesar has emerged as a scoring leader for the Canadian-based CIA Bounce this summer. He enjoyed his best weekend yet at the Nike Peach Jam last week.
At Peach Jam, he averaged more than 25 points per game in pool play while leading CIA Bounce to a berth in the semifinals of one of the AAU circuit’s premier events.
“He understood that he was the best player on that team and he played that way,” Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. “It’s the marquee event of the summer — the tournament of all tournaments — and all the big names are there. Teki realizes that it’s his turn and he’s getting more aggressive on offense. We saw a little of that this weekend.”
July 16 | Read More
Former Huntington Prep star Gorgui Dieng becomes first HPrep drafted to the NBA: Dieng drafted by the Jazz and traded to the Timberwolves
The Timberwolves acquired the No. 21 pick earlier on draft night after dealing Trey Burke, who they selected with the ninth pick, to the Utah Jazz. They also added the 14th overall pick, which they used on Shabazz Muhammad.
Dieng played three seasons at Louisville and was an integral part in the Cardinals' title run this past year. The 6'11 center anchored the nation's top defense, blocking 2.5 shots per game and altering many others with his nearly 7'4 wingspan. Dieng is a solid athlete with good mobility and a strong motor, which further helps him on defense and the boards. He averaged 9.4 rebounds on the season.
- Gorgui Dieng played at Huntington Prep during the 2009-2010 season. We are very proud that Gorgui has became the first member of the Huntington Prep program to be drafted in the NBA. Hope for more to come but we know that we will be well represented in the league by a great player and guy.
June 29 | Read More
To the people and community of Huntington:
I just wanted to thank Huntington for your support for me and my Huntington Prep teammates and coaches these past two years. Without the community, none of what has been accomplished would have been attainable. I hope that when you hear or read my name, you are proud to say I played my high school days here in Huntington. Because I am proud to say I played here.
I like to represent my hometown of Thornhill, Ontario, and my country of Canada in a positive light and I will do the same for Huntington and for my team and coaches of Huntington Prep. It has been such a positive experience and I would advise any player to come to Huntington Prep.
One of the best things about my experience here is St. Joseph Central Catholic H.S. where we all attend. There are a lot of good people in that building from the principal to the teachers to the janitor; I will never forget all the positive influences they have been in my development as a young man. My peers at St. Joe have also been supportive of me and have always treated me as one of their own. I am not different, just a kid, and at St. Joe I could be. Thank you.
I also want to let the area know that Huntington Prep has brought so much here. I will be gone, but (head coach) Rob Fulford and his staff will always bring in great players and great individual community members. They will always bring national attention that Huntington wouldn't have if Huntington Prep didn't exist. In these days and times positive attention to an area isn't guaranteed so when you have it, embrace it. Support Huntington Prep because they bring such a positive outlook on Huntington, WV.
I would like to personally thank Coach Rob, Coach Arkell Bruce, Coach Dave Meddings, Coach Ryan Arrowood and Coach Baker Neal for everything. Words cannot explain how grateful I am to, in my opinion, the best coaching staff in America. They bring players like me and my teammates to this area to give this area something special. They are great coaches and are great community members who teach us to be great players and great community members as well. I appreciate them for bringing me to the area and to Huntington Prep. It's been a great ride. Our strength and conditioning coach, Chris Lane, is one of the best in the nation. I want him to know how much I appreciate his program.
I also want to thank all the host families and board members of Huntington Prep. They are some of the nicest people I have ever met and they have truly shown me a ton of love and support. I have been very fortunate to get to know them all. My host family (Scott, Lesley, Luke and Clayton Thomas) has been my second family over the past two years and I will love them forever. Thank you for opening up your doors so I could be part of your home. I also would like to thank all the support from Dain and Norrie Price as well as Mrs. Alicia Anderson. They work so hard for my teammates and I. Also Stephanie Arrowood and Candace Meddings for all the work they do unpaid for us. Thank you all.
I have made some lifelong friends from here such as the Johnson family. Scott, Holli, Mychelle, Mariah, Maki and my best friend Mychal will always have a place in my heart.
I am from Canada and I am going to Kansas to play college basketball. I will hopefully be drafted to a city that I enjoy. But I will always have a place for Huntington in my heart and memories. I will not forget all the sacrifices they made for me and my teammates. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
May 28 | Read More
Andrew Wiggins, a 6-foot-7 small forward and the top player in the senior class, has signed a national letter of intent with the Kansas Jayhawks after also considering Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Wiggins, the best Canadian prospect since Steve Nash, averaged 23.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Huntington Prep in West Virginia last season after growing up in Toronto. He was named the Naismith High School player of the year.
"I'm looking forward to getting there and just doing my thing," Wiggins said.
Kansas coach Bill Self said he was pleasantly surprised by Wiggins' announcement because "we never had an idea which way he was leading.
"Andrew did this the exact way he said he was going to," Self said in a news release. "He played his cards very close to his vest as did his mother and father. I knew we were one of four. The competition was very stiff and we were fortunate that we were able to ink him today. He's a tremendous talent and a terrific kid."
Wiggins signed the letter of intent at a private ceremony Tuesday afternoon in Huntington, W.Va.
"I just followed my heart," he said
May 23 | Read More
Prep's Arroyo named MVP
Huntington Prep boys basketball player Carlos Arroyo collected a Most Valuable Player award Saturday in the Consol Energy All-Star Game at Mingo Central High School.
The 6-foot-1 senior guard from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, tossed in 26 points to lead West Virginia in a 116-86 victory against Kentucky.
Mackenzie Martin from Chapmanville High School followed with 24 points and Luke Eddy from George Washington High School added 17 and Marqus Cunningham of Mingo Central netted 10. Austin Brewer from the Tolsia Rebels had eight rebounds.
Arroyo also had eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals.
Kentucky MVP Ray Kasonga from Pikeville High School scored 15. Brandon Taylor from Boyd County High School led the Kentucky team with 19 points while Dalton Cornette from Perry Central High School scored 15.
Kasonga also won the dunk contest. Austin Banks from Mingo Central won the 3-point shooting contest.
West Virginia's Coaches included Nick Cabell (Scott), Jason Hatfield (Tolsia), & Dave Meddings (Huntington Prep).
May 06 | Read More
Williams Otor Gabriel was a member of Huntington Prep from 2009-2013 helping guide the Express to a combined record of 83-8 record during his career, becoming the player with the most wins in school history. “Gabe” has played alongside multiple Division 1 players for the impressive team in Huntington, WV. He helped the team reach a #1 ranking during his senior campaign and was named a McDonalds All-American nominee for his efforts. Averaging 2.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG, he and his peers finished with a 30-3 record in 2013 and will all play Division 1 next season.
Gabe will graduate with high honors and has a 3.53 GPA.
New Hampshire is a division 1 team in the American East conference finishing 9-22.
April 30 | Read More