Student-Athlete Strong: Gabby Williams

Student-athlete Gabby Williams, Women’s Basketball on Dec. 5, 2017. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
Gabby Williams of Women’s Basketball, a Conference Academic All Star, in an Introduction to Africana Studies class taught by associate professor Shawn Salvant. Williams says being a Husky means 'it’s a responsibility to hold myself a certain way and represent the University with pride and class.' (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

UConn’s student-athletes are often lauded for their on-field or on-court achievements, but there’s an equally important – often unseen – dimension to the student-athlete. UConn Today’s Student-Athlete Strong series highlights the academic prowess of selected high-achieving student-athletes and provides an inside look at their lives beyond their sport.

Gabby Williams ’18 (CLAS)

Hometown and high school: Sparks, Nevada & Reed High School

Sport: Women’s Basketball, Forward

Area of study: Urban & Community Studies, with a minor in Africana Studies

Anticipated graduation: May 2018

Did you have a particular teacher or academic mentor who was especially helpful to you during your K-12 years?
Ms. Hirvela, my trigonometry teacher my junior year of high school. She would let me come to her classroom all the time to either get work done or just hang out, even when I wasn’t her student any more. I remember how patient and helpful she was in helping me catch up on school work when I had my ACL surgery and missed a week and a half of class.

What has been your favorite class so far at UConn?
My favorite class has been African Americans and Social Protest with Professor Noel Cazenave.

How did you pick Urban and Community Studies as your major?
I just tried out an Urban Studies class because I’ve always been interested in studying people and communities, and ended up loving it, so I stuck with i️t.

What academic accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
Being named a Conference Academic All Star.

There have been so many great Huskies in the past that I have the honor to associate myself with. — Gabby Williams

Who have you met at UConn who has already affected your future? How have they helped you?
I think the person who has already greatly affected my future has been my teammate/best friend Kia Nurse. We have been through a lot together, and she has always been there for me. She’s always had confidence in me, even when I didn’t have it in myself. Without her, my career at UConn would not have been as successful, and because of that a lot of opportunities have been opened up for me.

I hear you’ve noticed a big improvement in your athletic abilities, energy level, and focus since switching to a vegan lifestyle. Can you tell us about one of your favorite go-to meals?
Coconut oil and peanut butter sandwich. I probably eat one every day. It’s so quick and easy to make and eat, which is perfect for a busy schedule.

During an SNY TV interview, you mentioned that off the court, you like to “zone out” by listening to your vinyl music collection. Do you think vinyl sounds better than digital? What’s currently on your turntable?
I do think vinyl sounds better than digital. I also just like the idea of listening to one album at a time rather than a random playlist. Currently on my turntable is ‘A Seat at the Table’ by Solange.

If someone were asked to describe you, what are some of the adjectives they might use?
A lot of people have described me as being an old soul. I would also say people describe me as funny, “woke,” and passionate.

What does it mean, to you, to be a Husky?
It’s a responsibility to hold myself a certain way and represent the University with pride and class. There have been so many great Huskies in the past that I have the honor to associate myself with. I see it as a privilege to be a Husky.