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Opener A "Dream Come True" For Nigel Williams-Goss
Release: 11/09/2013
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Lorenzo Romar faces his pal and former top assistant Cameron Dollar and Seattle University again on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena. And the freshmen point guard’s parents will be there to watch his long-discussed college debut.

By Gregg Bell

UW Director of Writing

SEATTLE -- Lorenzo Romar is reuniting with Cameron Dollar, his former top Huskies assistant and now the coach of their season-opening opponent.

C.J. Wilcox is playing in his first real game since foot surgery in May.

And Nigel Williams-Goss is living “a dream come true.”

Washington and Seattle University renew their intercity rivalry Sunday at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena (Pac-12 Networks, the Washington IMG College radio network and here on with another exclusive game chat). Williams-Goss’ mother Valerie, father Virgil and his grandmother have been here for days, including behind the Huskies’ bench for Wednesday’s exhibition win over Central Washington. They are here to attend the college debut for their McDonald’s and Parade magazine All-America point guard.

"They’ll probably come to every other game this season, too," Williams-Goss said, maybe half-joking, two days after his 16-point, four-rebound, three-assist exhibition game. "It’s just a dream come true, a moment we’ve always talked about for a long time. It’s good having all three of them for that first game."

Virgil Williams-Goss, formerly in the Air Force, a one-time club-team pro basketball player in England and now an insurance agent in Las Vegas, is staying in Seattle for 10 days.

Valerie, a private-practice therapist in Las Vegas while finishing her Ph D. in human services, is here “for a long time,” Williams-Goss said before Friday’s practice, with a smile.

She’s even going to cook for a big meal for Williams-Goss and friends in his UW dorm room.

"My mom and dad are like my best friends," he said. "It’s just great to hang out."

How great is that coming from a 19-year-old college freshman?

Their relationship – and Williams-Goss’ upbringing – is not a normal tale:

Williams-Goss will likely start the opener with Wilcox and Andrew Andrews at the guard spots. Jernard Jerreau and Perris Blackwell were strong while starting in the front court in Wednesday’s exhibition, but Shawn Kemp Jr. may have a larger role Sunday.

Dollar was Romar’s top assistant for seven seasons at UW before he took over Seattle U. to usher it back into Division-I basketball before the 2009-10 season. Romar said the novelty of playing annually against Dollar and his attacking, rugged team remains.

"There’s a certain excitement playing against him," Romar said before the start of his 12th season leading the Huskies.

"I pull for him all the time."

Romar thinks this Redhawks team may be Dollar’s best one yet, better than the one UW beat 87-74 last December at KeyArena.

"I think they’ll have the best guard play they’ve had since he’s been there," Romar said.

"It would probably be better if we played them down the road a few games," Romar said, chucking, "instead of the opener, because I do think they’ll be really good.

"I think we’re ready. But they will come after us. … Cameron has a very, very quiet confidence against this year’s team, you can just sense it."

Williams-Goss knows Dollar from the first time he stepped foot on UW’s campus, before his ninth-grade year when he came up from his home in the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, Ore., to play in Romar’s summer elite camp for high schoolers.

"Coach Dollar was my camp coach," Williams-Goss said, smiling at the memory.


Romar said junior forward Desmond Simmons’ arthroscopic surgery on his right knee was a success Thursday.

The good news was UW’s toughest player and most reliable post defender did not have a torn meniscus, as he had years ago in the same knee. There were loose particles floating in the knee that had been causing Simmons pain since the first day of preseason practice Oct. 1. He was on crutches but was already flexing the knee and having electrical-stimulation therapy on it in the UW training Friday.

Romar said, as he did Wednesday, that Simmons is likely to be out until mid-to-late December.

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