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St. Francis' Williams Writing Historic Legacy

LORETTO -- From winning state titles and Pennsylvania All-State honors at Bishop Guilfoyle to breaking records and making the NCAA Tournament while at Saint Francis, all Alli Williams has known is winning.

But that's not how she wants to write her legacy.

"I guess I hold a lot of records but I really want to be remembered for being a good leader."

Make no mistake; her leadership abilities is a main reason why Alli Williams is rewriting the Red Flash record books. According to her head coach Joe Haigh, he believes Williams is one of "less than 20" players in the history of women's college basketball to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds, and 300 steals.

"She came back last year going into her junior year a different player," Haigh said. "She decided to go from a great player to an extra-great player."

Williams wasn't always destined for Saint Francis, instead following former head coach Susan Robinson-Fruchtl to Loretto. Robinson-Fruchtl, now the head coach at Providence College, initially started recruiting Williams when she was in 8th grade and Robinson-Fruchtl was an assistant coach at Penn State.

"She was shy during the recruitment process," Robinson-Fruchtl said, "Which I could identify with a lot."

When Robinson-Fruchtl took the head coaching job at Saint Francis, she continued to recruit Williams, even after the Lady Lions stopped. Now only 30 minutes from home in Altoona, Williams says it was an easy fit for her to follow Robinson-Fruchtl to Loretto.

Four years later, Williams is closing the book on one of the most storied careers in the long, successful history of Red Flash women's basketball.

"Everything happens for a reason," Williams says. "I've realized how blessed I am and how talented I am and I've just tried to build on that."

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times