Alumni Report: Rancho Bernardo High grad Williams honored to wear Team USA jersey
By Michael Bower
Trevor Williams was 16 when he first put on a Team USA baseball jersey.
He got to wear it just long enough to take a picture with the 39 other kids invited to tryout out for the Junior Olympic team that year.
Williams, a 2010 Rancho Bernardo High graduate and current starting pitcher at Arizona State University, thought for sure he did enough during the tryout to make the team.
Instead, however, he was dealt one of the biggest pieces of motivating news in his career.
“I got cut and I was pissed,” Williams said. “That was a big turning point for my career because that was the first time I was cut from a team. It was a really big motivator in my life.”
All Williams did from that point on is win a CIF San Diego Section championship with Rancho Bernardo and earn a scholarship to ASU, where this season, as a sophomore, he finished tied for the most wins in the nation with 12.
And guess who came calling?
“I went to have a meeting with my coach at ASU and I step in the office and he throws the papers at me and says, ‘Congrats, you’re on Team USA,’” recalled Williams, who was asked to play for the USA Collegiate National Team last year, too, but turned it down since the offer came while he was already into his offseason workout program. “It was sweet. Just a great feeling.”
The chance to represent the country means a ton to Williams. His grandfather was in the Air Force and Williams’ father, Richard, was in the Marines.
Richard Williams continues to stay involved by helping injured veterans and active military members through charity work and visits to hospitals.
Williams has certainly taken notice of the sacrifices the armed forces make for the country.
“In a way, this is my way to thank them back, because they love baseball and talk non-stop about it,” Trevor explained. “Some of these guys are my age and they are giving up their freedom so I can be free. It is very humbling. I will wear the red, white and blue with the ultimate respect for them, because they put their life on the line in their uniform. I am just playing a game.”
Williams, a 6-foot, 3-inch, 228-pound, right-hander, will report to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team practice facility in North Carolina Saturday.
Team USA will play a series of exhibition games from June 25 – July 3 in North Carolina before traveling to Cuba for a five-game series against the best players Cuba has to offer. That will run from July 5 – 9.
From there, Team USA will travel to The Netherlands for a tournament that runs from July 14 – 22. Team USA will face Japan, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands in pool play.
If Team USA does good enough, the semifinals are July 20 with the medal rounds on July 21 and July 22.
It will be a big change of scenery for Williams, who has never played baseball outside of the United States. In fact, he said he has only left the country once to go to Mexico.
“The USA manager was telling me the last time they went to Cuba they played in front of 55 to 60 thousand people and it was televised on their one channel,” Williams said. “Literally everyone will be watching these games. The MLB playoffs do not even get these kinds of crowds.”
Should Williams stay healthy, he should be a very high pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. He would have the option to stay another year in college or go professional. He said it is way too early to start thinking about that.
“Nobody has drafted me yet,” he said. “It is honestly in God’s hands. I don’t know what he wants from me. We will have to see what happens. It is out of my control.”
For now, he is concentrating on staying healthy and trying to bring home a gold medal for his country.
“Since we cannot go to the Olympics, a gold medal in The Netherlands would be sweet,” he said. “If I can throw well, too, that would be the icing on top.”
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