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Chester star Destiny Williams a finalist for prestigious scholar athlete award

  • Destiny Williams is a star on the court and in the classroom

    Destiny Williams is a star on the court and in the classroom
    Jim Beers photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 7/25/2019 6:06 PM

Chester High School basketball standout Destiny Williams was among 12 finalists for the 2019 Southern Illinois Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Williams, well known as a stellar basketball player, just finished her junior year at CHS and has spent most of her summer so far competing on her AAU Team.

Her athletic abilities have always been apparent since she was small; less known, perhaps, is her academic skill.

Williams is a member of the CHS Summit Chapter of the National Honor Society and she always appears on the Chester High School Honor Roll.

Head Lady Jacket Basketball Coach Pat Knowles and CHS Athletic Director Jeremy Blechle made the nomination.

"We all know that Destiny is a well-known entity on the basketball court, but we more importantly know that she excels in the classroom," Knowles said. "Her academics are what will undoubtedly get her through her life down the road, so Mr. Blechle and I decided to make the nomination. She represented CHS well in the competition and was one of just 12 girls in the region to make the final consideration."

Knowles added that the Southern Illinois Scholar-Athlete of the Year is typically a graduating senior, and usually a multisport athlete. Even so, Destiny cracked the Top 12.

"That deserves a great deal of recognition and we are very proud of her and her many accomplishments both on the court and in the classroom," said Knowles.

Academically, Williams is ranked at the top of her class. Athletically she has been selected All-Conference all three years and was chosen All-South all three years as well. During the 2018-2019 season, Williams averaged 17.2 points per game and earned second-team All-State honors in the 2019 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) poll.

The 2019 Southern Illinois Girl's Scholar Athlete of the Year is Karsyn Davis of Harrisburg, a softball standout who will play for the Southeast Missouri Redhawks next fall as a freshman. For the Harrisburg Bulldogs, Davis stood out in volleyball, basketball and softball and graduated with a 4.184 GPA.

The 10 other finalists were: Ana Cuartas, Marion; Sophie Heck, Nashville; Allie Whittington, Elverado; Abby Whiting, Carrier Mills; Rachel Finders, Murphysboro; Anna Miller, Hamilton County; Katie Gale, Trico; Autumn McMahan, Shawnee; Megan Bily, Carbondale; and Rachel Bradley, Steeleville. All but two of the nominees were graduating seniors in 2019.