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March 1, 2021
"I'm so excited to receive this award," said Williams. "There's so much talent in Seattle that often gets underrecognized and I'm thankful for the Seattle Sports Commission for giving athletes this stage to highlight their skills. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for always having my back throughout my career. I want to thank my family, especially my mom, for supporting me and keeping me going. Thank you to my athletic trainers, Eric Raustein and Tiffany Mallick, and my strength and condition coach Jen Petersen, for helping with my rehab process and allowing me to get back on the court. Thank you to the other finalists for being so talented and inspiring and thanks to the fans who voted, not just for me, but for the other finalists."The native of Auburn, Wash., has been SU's top performer this season. She ranks second in the Western Athletic Conference in scoring at 16.2 points per game. On Dec. 21, Williams set a Division I program record with 36 points at Idaho.Williams beat out four other finalists in the fan voting contest, as Alysha Clark (Seattle Storm), Morganne Flores (Washington softball), Charlisse Leger-Walker (Washington State basketball) and Jenn Wirth (Gonzaga basketball) were in the running."Kenzi has been challenged throughout her young life and has shown great perseverance to overcome and succeed," said SU Coach Suzy Barcomb. "This is a testament to her fighting spirit and belief in herself." Williams joins a prestigious group in Seattle U history to receive a Sports Star of the Year Award, joining Johnny O'Brien (1952), Pat Lesser Harbottle (1955), Elgin Baylor (1958), Jim Whittaker (1963), Tom Gorman (1972), Bill Fenton (1973), and Stephanie Verdoia (2014).Williams, a redshirt junior, has worked to recover from two torn ACLs in her collegiate career. She has played in 77 career games and will graduate this spring. Williams has two years of eligibility remaining.
Watch a KING TV profile of Williams here.
Seattle U student Matthew Esselstrom also took home an honor at the show, taking the Wayne Gittinger Inspirational Youth Award. Watch a video about Esselstrom here.
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