By Hannah Walker —

After having multiple injuries this season, forward/center senior Malik Williams announced in a media interview, his decision to stay on Louisville’s men’s basketball team for a fifth year.

Williams has had problems with his right foot throughout most of his time playing college basketball. He started getting injuries during the 2019 season, and he hasn’t seemed to be able to recover since. During the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, Williams had surgery on his right foot and had to miss 15 games.

After recovering from the surgery to his foot, Williams made the decision to play in the Duke game. He seemed to be strong and scoring just as well as he had prior to the injury. However, he had another injury to his ankle during the middle of the game while landing on a Duke player’s foot.

Doctors estimated that he would be sidelined for another 4-6 weeks after his second injury. Now, he is getting ready to start practice again for the 2021-2022 season.

“My right ankle is doing fine. On the injury with my left ankle, I went in to get a scope and some shaving done to the bone,” Williams said in an interview March 24. “Now I am just ready to start strengthening my foot to get back out [on the court].”

Williams went on to talk about how it was a rough season for him. He felt as if he was letting down a lot of his teammates for not being able to play like he has in the past.

He also said that he felt as if he had let himself down. These reasons are why he wants to stay with Louisville for another year before going pro.

“You come into college basketball wanting to be a future one-and-done, and then end up turning into a fifth-year player. That’s not easy for anyone to cope with,” he said. “I think it was just about exploring my options. That’s all it really was.”

Williams said he looks forward to being able to bring next year’s freshman to the NCAA championship during the 2021-2022 season. He also hopes to have a good season next year, so he can prove to the pro-level teams that he can play without having consistent injuries.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Boulton // U of L Athletics