Kings Q&A: Big Nasty

by Jason Wise
Director, Digital

Kings assistant coach and former Final Four Most Outstanding Player Corliss Williamson reflects on his college days as the NCAA Tournament prepares for tip-off

With the NCAA Tournament upon us, how much do you reflect on the success you had in college?

“It’s always a special time of the year for any basketball player or fan. To have a chance to experience the NCAA Tournament in my career makes me feel special this time of year.”

While you likely get a lot of people who recognize you from the pros, do you get many fans who approach you about your performance in the college ranks?

“It’s funny, a lot of people remember me from college! I get a lot of compliments on my college days, how our team played, and people telling me they watched us back in the day. It’s about even.”

What’s your favorite memory from your collegiate days, specifically the NCAA Tournament?

“Definitely winning the championship. I was born and raised in Arkansas, and having the opportunity to be a Razorback was like a childhood dream of every kid who grows up there. So, to have the opportunity to win a national championship at the University of Arkansas was just the greatest experience.”

Do you still keep in touch with your former Arkansas teammates?

“I do. Scotty Thurman and I constantly talk with one another. Some of the other guys, we keep in touch, as well as the coaches. We’re always checking in on one another to see how everything is going.”

Has your perspective on college basketball changed since you were a student-athlete?

“Back then, you had a lot of seniors playing. Now there are a lot of young guys who are leaving early. You can’t blame them for it, but I think college basketball would be better if the younger guys stuck around. Also, you see it’s kind of equal now. It’s not just the major schools that are winning championships all the time, and I think it’s been good for college basketball.”

Having recently coached in college, how do you feel that experience has helped you in your current position?

“They’re two different animals. Coaching in college allows you to shape and mold those young men’s lives and you get to be that positive influence. You get to the pros and it’s a little different. Most of the guys are grown and know what they’re doing. So you just try to learn how to work with different personalities, and I think it’s something college helped me with – learning how to teach, as well as learning how to work with different personalities and approach people in different ways.”

Do you get a chance during the season to catch any college basketball now?

“I try my best to watch the Tournament. We watch so many pro games and working on scouting reports makes it hard to carve out time, but I always try to check-in on my former team.”

Are you able to enjoy any of it as a fan?

“I definitely enjoy it as a fan, but I also catch myself coaching too. I yell at the television and try to tell guys what to do but, for the most part, it’s enjoyable. Knowing I’m not actually working sometimes lets me really watch the game and watch the kids develop.”