Williams was supposed to participate in the Sun Belt College Baseball League with UA teammates Jacob Blas and Tony Bullard. But the league was canceled in mid-June when a player tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Williams said of not being able to play ball. “But at the same time, it gave me a chance to sit back and just think about the real issues in life.”
Those thoughts became serious conversations in late May. On Memorial Day — which might have normally been a joyous occasion for the Wildcats had they made the NCAA Tournament — George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed while being arrested by Minneapolis police.
The incident spawned protests, a nationwide social-justice movement and frank dialogue in the Williams household. Donta’ is the middle of three children. Their father, Harry, is a neighborhood outreach specialist for the city of Las Vegas. Their mother, Cheryl, is a pastor.
“Everywhere we go,” Dante’ and his siblings were reminded, “we have to act like there’s a target on our back.”
“There was a lot of frustration going on at the time, a lot of emotions,” Williams said. “It was just like, ‘We’re tired of it. Enough is enough. Things like this can’t keep happening.’ ”
After video of the Floyd incident went viral, the first person Johnson called was Williams. Johnson has known Williams since he began recruiting the speedy outfielder as an eighth-grader.
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