Mississippi State’s Morgan William looks back on the shot that changed women’s college basketball

Mississippi State guard Morgan William puts up the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the UConn Huskies at during an NCAA semifinal game.

There are buzzer-beaters, and there are buzzer-beaters which take down UConn in the Final Four.

“It was just like the shot heard round the planet,” Morgan William says. She’s reminiscing in the car from Orlando, Florida, where she’s been searching for Pepsi in sales for the year. She ’s coming back at the American Airlines Center in Dallas in 2017, in which Robin Roberts is arriving to look for her: “Where’s Itty Bitty? ”

This ’therefore exactly what happens when you make a buzzer-beater in overtime at the Final Four to vanquish among the top dynasties in sports history, breaking their 111-game win series. It’therefore exactly what occurs when you’re 5’3 on a fantastic day — therefore the “Itty Bitty” nickname — and then end up on a basketball highlight reel that will be an ESPN mainstay for years to come. That’s exactly what happened, in a nutshell, when William chucked a jumper with one second on the clock in the Mississippi State Bulldogs&rsquo matchup with the UConn Huskies — plus it went .

For girls &rsquoschool basketball, this is a revolution.

“Sometimes I wan na na mention that I assume responsibility for that — it was a group effort, therefore I say Mississippi State takes complete responsibility for that,” William says, referring to the tempering of UConn’s dominance because she hit the shooter. UConn has caused it into the Final Four in the two seasons but not into the championship match. This year, the Huskies were slated to go into the tournament as a two-seed (including these, almost unheard of). “Women&rsquobasketball is growing, it’therefore rdquo, & rising; William says. “You think about UConn, you presume, ‘Holy cow, we & ’t gotta go play a few all-stars’ — and if I wouldn’t say everyone ’s going to UConn, I feel as though gamers are developing their games accordingly we all ’re capable of going out there and play them rather than the title over their chests. ”

William has been a sensation in months and the days following that match. Roberts’ locker-room visit was the tip of this iceberg for the girl who forced everyone to pay attention to rsquo & girls;s college basketball rather than supposing UConn would win. Back in Starkville, Mississippi, she’s bona fide celebrity; even today in Orlando, she gets recognized than she expects.

“I recall when I first came here, someone was like and just stopped me, ‘Is the title Morgan William? Oh, my Godit’s you — I had been at that match! ’” she remembers. “Then he showed me a photo of us collectively. I was like, ‘I don&rsquo however that’s pretty trendy. ’”

William continued pursuing basketball following living in 2018, the year that a out of Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale murdered her and the Bulldogs’ shot at a name in a poetic turn of events. She had been invited into the Las Vegas Aces’ where she worked with the group for about a month before being cut just before the beginning of the season up, coaching camp that spring.

“Honestly, I thought I left the group,” William says. “It had been whatnot and great feedback, however …” She had a stress fracture in her shin which had been lingering so she went home to Birmingham, Alabama, to try to rehabilitation.

“It takes forever to get rdquo; she says, & that junk to cure. “I did everything: I had the operation, I went into physical therapy. But it had been three years later, and I had been at a point where I felt as though I would not have the ability to play basketball without needing pain.

“It sort of takes the pleasure from you , and the match for you &rsquo. I didn’t even need to do that for the rest of my lifetime either. ”

William contemplated trying to play but involving the salary, being far from home, and her injuries she chose against it. “I was just like, I’m good by putting the ball down,” she says. ”I just didn’t even need to play basketball . It wears and tears within your entire body, and I was prepared for what was next. ”

She landed using Pepsi, in which basketball is a part of her life rather than inescapable. William keeps up with the Bulldogs, naturally (“We will need to be consistent,” she says, switching quickly into group leader mode), and sometimes hoops using a bunch of guys on Saturday mornings. “They underestimate me,” William says — but the way she says it makes it look like that simply adds to the fun.

For now, the 23-year-old is largely enjoying her independence from the rigors of becoming a athlete. “After being in school where everybody is telling it&rsquo laughing. “Like, ‘Lord, I can do everything I need! ’” And for her to live to get a change like the rest of us, as sterile as it is, she has the chance to remind her what she’s accomplished.

“People are not going to let me forget that shooter,” she says. “It’s pretty nice if I’m seeing games, and I’ll see myself move upon the TV — I’m just like, ‘Wow, which ’s me! ’ It’so great to be a part of this history, you know? ”

More broadly, William has been a member of this course that turned Mississippi State into a competitor — and that class’s largest. “They say I’rsquo m & 5 & &;two but I’m heading with 5’3 since rsquo & that;so what I buy when I measure myself,&rdquo. “To go out there and handle business and do it at the highest level… Mississippi State wasn’t onto the map before that. It ’so like, we really did that. I’m proud to say I went to Mississippi State and then altered the app around. I’m part of that legacy. ”

For as long as the shooter gets airtime, William will probably be shorthand in the face of overwhelming adversity — particularly for rsquo & basketball;therefore undersized competitors. “That summer everybody was like, ‘My point guard’s pretty brief, look at her. She’s Morgan William,’” she says. “But don’t even try to be like me. Go be better than me. This ’therefore exactly what everybody said, so I simply pass down it. ”

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