Jamie Williams may only be a sophomore, but she is leading the Lake Norman Charter Knights in points and providing the leadership her team needs to get better.
Jamie has led the Knights to a 5-1 record (through Dec. 2) - including a win against Northwest Cabarrus, a 3A school - while averaging almost 20 points per game and leading her team in assists in the school's first year in the NCHSAA.
The 5-foot-9 point guard said she has mixed emotions about constantly being looked up to by her teammates - all of whom are lower classmen as the team's lone junior, Mary Dixon, is out indefinitely due to a shoulder surgery.
"It's stressful at times, especially when I have bad games and I get down on myself and I know they're all looking at me and they get down too," the 16-year-old said.
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"But it actually feels good for everyone to look up to you and to know that everyone is paying attention."
Lake Norman Charter coach Bobby Williams said he enjoys coaching Jamie, his daughter.
"It's a good experience from a father's point of view because I'm there first-hand to see things happening," he said. "It's a special feeling to be able to coach and see her grow both on and off the court."
Although Jamie admits that having her dad as a coach can put extra pressure on her at times, she said she enjoys it.
"He's always there if I need help," she said.
Her father said that even though he and his daughter have their ups and downs as coach and player as well as father and daughter, they get along well and have developed a special relationship on the basketball court as well as elsewhere.
"We have a good understanding, and she knows what I expect out of her and I know what she expects out of me," he said. "We do our best to compliment each other in that way."
Jamie said she hopes her squad will finish the season with a winning record against the higher level of competition they're facing this season to build up off last year's 16-4 record. But she said the most important part of the season is to help her teammates become better players.
In order to do that she said she has a team-first approach to the game.
"I try to improve my team and involve them as much as possible, but if I have an open shot I'll take it," she said. "I don't want to be selfish, but sometimes there is a point that you have to take over."
Last season Jamie averaged 20.3 points per game as she was named All-Conference as a freshman, an accolade which she said meant a lot to her.
"It showed that my hard work did pay off, and it just makes me keep working hard," she said.
Jamie has dreams of playing for a college team after graduation. She said that in order to get ready for that she has been working hard on and off the court.
In addition to giving it her all during practice - including the ones Saturday mornings - and against her team's opponents, she said she has been working hard to get better grades to improve her chances of playing at a collegiate level.
Williams, who has been coaching his daughter since she was 10 years old, said Jamie brings athleticism and what he referred to as a "high basketball IQ" to his team. He said these characteristics are what make her a good player.
"She's been around the game for so long that she brings girls up," he explained.
In addition to Jamie's speed, her father said that what makes her stand out the most is her intensity on both ends of the court.
"She gets that from me - that's the way I grew up playing sports," he explained. "That's one of the things I never have to question about her."