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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

After lengthy Quinnipiac tenure, Tyrese Williams’ basketball journey leads him to Slovakia

Peyton McKenzie
Tyrese Williams ’23 inked a pro contract with Slovakia’s BC Karmárno in July.

“Extreme excitement, but also a readiness to show more.”

That was Tyrese Williams’ immediate reaction to signing his first-ever professional contract. But the former Quinnipiac men’s basketball star is just getting started. 

“Some of my goals are to be one of the top players across Europe, as well as putting my team in a position to compete and win in the postseason,” Williams said. “Just getting better day by day, with all of the little things.”

After a five-year stint with Quinnipiac, he now joins BC Kormárno, coming off a 15-13 record and a finals appearance in the Slovak Basketball League — the highest level of professional basketball in the country. 

“I knew a couple of people that had already played out here in Slovakia,” Williams said. “Along with the league being respected throughout Europe, knowing if I handle my business, more opportunities will come from this. It’s been good thus far.”

Williams, who was with the Bobcats from 2018 to 2023, joined the 1,000 career points club last season and averaged 8.5 points per game. Playing in all 32 games, the Beacon, New York, native became a leader on and off the floor for Quinnipiac. 

Throughout his collegiate career, Williams was a consistent offensive threat for the Bobcats, racking up 1,173 total points in his 135 games played. Tack on 419 rebounds and 194 assists and the 6-foot-3-inch shooter was a key contributor to Quinnipiac’s 20-win season in 2022-23. 

While the guard may be making the nine-hour flight from the northeast to Slovakia, he has a former teammate in his corner who has been through a similar situation. Forward Kevin Marfo, who crossed paths as a teammate with Williams for three years, has played overseas in both Italy and France. 

“Be grateful and be patient,” Marfo recommended. “It’s definitely an adjustment period.”

Kevin Marfo spent two separate stints with the Quinnipiac program (2017-2020, 2021-2022). (Jack Muscatello)

But it shouldn’t be hard for Williams to adjust to his new situation, based on how his teammates in Hamden remember him. 

“(He’s a) team-first guy who wanted the best for everybody,” Marfo said. “He was always selfless and looked out for others.” 

And while Williams is playing overseas, he will be keeping tabs on his former stomping grounds back in Connecticut. 

“I believe they can win the MAAC, they just have to take things one day at a time and focus on the task right in front of them,” Williams said. “They have a great vet group in (graduate student guard) Matt (Balanc) and (graduate student guard) Sav(ion Lewis) and (senior forward) JJ (Riggins), who have been through it all when it comes to college, and a coach who’s well-respected and demands nothing less then top-notch play.”

That top-notch play expected by new head coach Tom Pecora is something that Williams respects, saying Pecora had a drastic impact on him and his growth as a basketball player. 

“Coach P has meant the world to me, (he was) one of the, if not the first coach to recruit me, and have a belief in me to get things done,” Williams said. “I would’ve loved to go to war for him as the head coach, but he lets his voice be known … (he’s) always willing to push you to be the best version of you and sit down and talk with you about everything, especially things outside of the court.”

The season doesn’t start for another month — BC Kormárno doesn’t open its schedule until Sept. 23 — but Williams is already preparing. He has moved across the globe to fit into a new-found culture, but credits Quinnipiac for getting him ready for the next level.

“Quinnipiac helped me in the sense of having a work ethic to continue to strive for greatness and get better no matter the cost,” Williams said. “Learning how to adapt to new situations while still being able to be myself.”

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About the Contributors
Ethan Hurwitz
Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor
Jack Muscatello
Jack Muscatello, Digital Managing Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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