Men’s hoops adds piece through transfer portal

Keshawn Williams transfers to NIU after two years at Tulsa


Courtesy NIU Athletics

NIU Head Coach Rashon Burno speaks with the media following the announcement as the next head coach of Huskies men’s basketball March 13 at the NIU Convocation Center.

By Kyle Mathas

DeKALB — Sophomore guard Keshawn Williams, who was among the best City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top prospects, is coming back to Illinois for his junior season. 

Williams started his college career with the University of Tulsa where he averaged 3.1 points per game playing limited minutes. Now, he will be transferring to NIU where he will play for a coaching staff with new Head Coach Rashon Burno. 

Williams becomes the highest-ranked player from the Chicago area who has landed with NIU over the past few years, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

“The Tulsa coaching staff was great, but it just wasn’t a perfect fit for me,” Williams said in a Chicago Sun-Times article Wednesday. “The opportunity to play close to home and to help turn a program around excites me. I connected with Coach Burno. He trusts me and will allow me to play through the good and the bad. That’s important to hear from your coach.”

Williams comes into the NIU program right after Houston Baptist High School senior guard Noah Kon landed with the team Sunday. Kon is the leading scorer all-time for the Houston Christian program. 

As a senior with the Bloom Blazing Trojans, Williams led his team to a 28-6 after they started as the top-ranked team in the country. He also had a big matchup against Thornton High School in his senior season, scoring 23 points, and handed Thornton their only loss of the season. In two seasons with Bloom, Williams helped them get a combined 54 wins as a program. 

He is the second big addition for the Huskies in the offseason as NIU looks to turn around its program after a rather disappointing season in 2020-2021.