Former Pali High Star Is Averaging 16 Points for Anteaters
It was only a few years ago that Kayla Williams was part of one of the most feared backcourts in the City Section. She enjoyed two stellar seasons at Palisades High before finishing her prep basketball career at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance, where she was a four-star recruit.
Now she is a redshirt freshman at UC Irvine and already she is making her mark. She has started all 15 games in 2020-21 and leads the team in points (240), assists (69) and steals (40). Her 16.0 points-per-game average is tops in the Big West Conference.
After sitting out all of last season with an injury, the 5-foot-7 guard is proving she can play at the college level. She scored a career-high 32 points at Cal Poly on January 23, racked up a career-high 10 assists at UC Santa Barbara on December 28 and made a career-best five steals at Cal State Bakersfield on February 6.
Williams earned All-City honors playing alongside Chelsey Gipson and Kayla Merrill-Gillett at Palisades High. She helped the Dolphins to back-to-back City Open Division finals but left the program after head coach Torino Johnson resigned following the 2016-17 season.
Palisades repeated as City Open Division champion in 2016 when Williams was in ninth grade. She played in 31 games and averaged 11.9 points and a team-high 4.6 steals per game. As a sophomore she played in all 35 of the Dolphins’ games, averaging 19.9 points and a team-high 4.5 steals. She averaged 16.4 points as a senior at Bishop Montgomery.
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