At 13, Micah Williams Jr. is a straight-A QUEST student at Veterans Memorial Middle School and a point guard on the basketball team. He lived several years in Italy where his father, who is in the military, was stationed. His family adores him and teachers praise his dedication and demeanor.
What sets Micah Williams Jr. apart from most eighth graders is that in four days, he will be representing the United States in Belgrade, Serbia during the World Junior Championships for martial arts.
He is one of only 29 martial artists aged 9 to 17 who tried out and were selected to join Team USA. He remembers well when he was asked to participate.
“I was excited, and I was very proud I would be representing my country,” Williams said. “I hope to come away with a medal.”
“It’s very rare,” said the team coach, Ray Bryant.
“Micah is so excited to have the chance to represent his country while doing the sport that he loves,” Micah’s father, Micah Williams Sr., said. “He looks forward to making more new friends from other countries and sharing that experience with all his friends and family.”
Micah was 7 when his father began training him and many of the kids who lived in their neighborhood in Italy. His training was put on hold when his father was deployed to the Middle East, but resumed when the family moved back to the United States in 2008. He has since excelled in the sport, earning many awards and trophies, and hopes to one day earn at least a third-degree black belt in Shorin Ryu (a martial arts style).
“We’re extremely proud of all of Micah Jr.’s accomplishments, especially academically,” his father said. “We’re also very proud as to what he has been able to do athletically. It will be exciting to see him competing internationally.”