Whistle Sports Network “No Days Off” – Mark Williams feature

Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Mark Williams (Duke) poses for photos on the red carpet before the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Mark Williams (Duke) poses for photos on the red carpet before the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Charlotte Hornets first-round draft pick Mark Williams has been a topic of discussion in the Queen City ever since the team drafted him with the 15th pick in last week’s draft. For those who are interested to learn more about his pre-draft process, as well as his personal life, Whistle Sports has a new ”No Days Off” episode featuring Williams. ‘No Days Off’ is an original series that profiles athletes as they train with their support systems to be the best in their respective sports. In his episode, Williams discussed the draft preparation process, his strengths as a player, and the players he has looked up to during his career.

Williams chose to train for the draft at the Miami Hoop School, which is self-described as the “premiere elite basketball training academy and basketball camp in South Florida”. Williams has an existing connection to the area, having played his senior season of high school basketball at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Andrew Moran founded the Miami Hoop School in 2012 and has since worked with such NBA players as Tim Hardaway Jr, James Johnson, Mario Chalmers, and Marcus Morris. Moran went on record to say that he was “proud of the way Mark works and his approach towards his workout”.

The typical daily regimen at the Miami Hoop School consists of a morning workout followed by breakfast. Then, players return for a weightlifting session followed by treatment time. Finally, the players hold a shootaround to close the day before returning home for some rest before the process begins the following day.

Derek Bracket, a trainer with Core Fitness Miami, was able to work with Williams in the pre-draft process. In a particular workout highlighted in the video, Williams is shown doing overhead medicine ball throws. Bracket explains that a primary focus of this workout is efficient movement, maximizing the energy expended by Williams to move the ball the greatest distance. Another focus, and one that will particularly help Williams in today’s switch-heavy NBA, is frontal plane mechanics. Being able to move side to side in an agile manner while still maintaining defensive position is a necessity for a center in today’s league. Bracket made mention of Williams’ long frame, which he says will benefit him immensely at the next level. Standing 7’2″ in shoes with a 7’7″ wingspan and a 9’9″ standing reach, Williams has the physical traits to become a great defender at the NBA level.

Williams also has the mentality of a shut-down defender, saying that his greatest skill is rim-protection and that protecting the rim is something he hangs his hat on. He also mentioned that he loves being the “anchor” on defense, doing the dirty work, and hustling hard for second chance points. All of this was evident in his play last season, as he led the ACC in blocks per game at 2.8, good for 12th in the nation. On the other end, Williams made note of his penchant for dunks, catching lobs, and playing with speed. All of that should fit in nicely with a Charlotte team that finished fifth in the NBA in pace a season ago.

Mark Williams can be Charlotte’s answer at the center position

Basketball has been a part of Williams’ life since an early age, as he began playing the sport at 5 years old. His older sister Elizabeth is a terrific player in her own right, as she was a lottery pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft and is currently playing for the Washington Mystics. Williams mentioned that playing at Duke prepared him for getting every opponent’s best shot. With his work ethic, self-awareness, and basketball background, Williams has the tools necessary to become a contributor for a Hornets team that will need him to be.