Heyden Kudelko – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS graduate LaDazhia Williams is an NCAA champion. Her Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers won this year’s women’s basketball national title.
During the 2022-2023 season Williams averaged 9.9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1.2 blocks per game. Entering the NCAA women’s tournament as a three seed, LSU were optimistic for a shot at the national title.
“Before the Championship game,” Williams said, “everyone was locked in, and we felt a lot of confidence going into the game.”
LSU’s defeated the University of Iowa for the title 102-85.
Williams said after, “We celebrated with fans and family at the hotel.”
William’s lessons from former LRHS girl’s Coach Tina Hadley was one key to her success.
“She conducted her practices like a college coach would and was always willing to conduct extra workouts with me,” she said. “We also trained during the summer like college athletes do.”
Stay updated on important LRHS news and share what you like by following our Twitter @MustangsAhead, Instagram @mustangs_ahead, and follow the Mustangs Ahead Podcast
Williams’ advice to young Mustangs is simple, “My message to young girls would be to always work hard and be consistent with everything that you do.”
Current LRHS junior Elainna Villegas, who plays for the LRHS girls’ basketball team, said, “Knowing that LaDazhia was able to win a national championship at LSU this year really gave me hope in a way. I met her multiple times from when she played here at Lakewood Ranch and I even did a couple of workouts with her and it just makes me feel like if she was able to get to that level then I can do it too. It made it so much fun to watch the women’s tournament knowing that each day someone like her was getting closer and closer to winning it all.”
Williams set records for LRHS girls basketball. Some of her accolades include being named 8A Player of the Year by Florida Association of Basketball Coaches (FABC) and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2017.
Williams also finished her career as LRHS’s all-time leader scorer and rebounder and led the girls to Class 7A state title game as a junior, the best finish in program history.