By Greg Rayburn
Don Williams of North Little Rock knows how to look for talent on the basketball court. He is the director of scouting for the Arkansas Elite. Williams has been a basketball scout for eight years now.
“I look for players who are tough,” Williams said.
The Arkansas Elite recently won the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) high school national championship for 16-year-old boys. The 16 year olds are part of the graduating class of 2015 where boys of that age can be recruited for college basketball programs or professional basketball programs either in the United States or Europe.
Williams said he is very proud of the players who won the championship.
“They have worked very hard,” Williams said.
Williams has lived in North Little Rock for 35 years and ran track at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Williams said he enjoys being a scout for young talent.
“I enjoy the people I meet,” Williams said. “The people are terrific.”
One key in recruiting is quickness when discovering potential talent.
Williams said he does recruiting in different parts of the country. Some of the players on the winning team came from Memphis.
Some of the local players on the championship team include Kevaughn Allen of North Little Rock, Jayln Jackson of Little Rock Parkview, Devon Campbell of Little Rock Mills, and J.P. Perry of Mayflower High School.
Williams said different scouts look for different traits.
“You look to evaluate talent to see who will have the most potential,” Williams said. “I look for the gritty guys. Kids who can play three, four positions.”
Williams usually looks to recruits in high school or junior high
“I hear that a kid is good but I watch him and make my own judgment,” Williams said.
Some of the boys who played in the championship team that Williams recruited include: Donta Kitzpatrick of Memphis, Marlon Hunter of Memphis, Skal Labissiere of Memphis, and Melvin Frazer of New Orleans.
Williams said he likes to find boys who have a lot of potential and end up utilizing their talents to better their lives.
These amateur leagues and teams begin the day after the end of high school basketball season.