Determined to ‘reach my goals,’ ESPN 100 forward Devin Williams chose to join the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball program

ESPN 100 forward Devin Williams committed to UCLA on Sunday, he told ESPN, choosing the Bruins over crosstown rival USC.

Williams visited both schools in Los Angeles, but his trip to UCLA’s campus earlier this month clinched it for the Bruins.

“When I went on my official visit to UCLA, I had the opportunity to watch practice,” Williams said. “Everyone is really competitive. Mick Cronin reminds me of my high school coach Josh Giles. “Mick Cronin is a great guy. And he is an honest man. I need that honesty to develop and reach my goals.”

A 6-foot-9 frontcourt prospect from Centennial High School (California), Williams is ranked No. 57 on the ESPN 100 — but will climb into the top 50 of the rankings in the next update. He played seven games for Team Why Not on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring, showing flashes as an outside shooter and shot-blocker, but played for the Compton Magic to finish the spring and then into the month of July.

Williams possesses a long, athletic frame with quick vertical bounce for offensive rebounds and putbacks. He has an effective face-up game that causes problems for opposing bigs, as they struggle to guard him from the basket. Williams showed excellent footwork and touch, both facing the basket and with his back to the basket.

He shoots the 3 with accuracy and is comfortable playing behind the arc as a shooter or driver. With a 7-foot wingspan, he blocks shots and has good timing. Williams is UCLA’s first commitment in the 2023 class, following a 2022 recruiting class that featured five-star signees Amari Bailey and Adem Bona, and top-50 guard Dylan Andrews. Mick Cronin and the Bruins are expected to be a preseason top-10 team in college basketball next season.