Donovan Williams

Donovan Williams committed to Nebraska in August and was a second-team All-Nebraska pick last season.

It’s been a challenging week for Nebraska basketball commit Donovan Williams, but it ended on a high note.

Williams had his first in-person meeting with Fred Hoiberg and the new members of the basketball coaching staff Friday afternoon. It came the day after Williams learned he had torn his ACL.

“Everything felt good. Being around Coach (Hoiberg) and seeing the other assistant coaches that I haven’t met made things easier for me,” Williams said.

Williams — a 6-foot-5, 190-pound junior guard at Lincoln North Star — suffered the injury last weekend playing for his AAU team, Bradley Beal Elite, in Arkansas. Initially he thought the injury was much less severe, maybe a torn MCL or meniscus.

“I didn’t think it was too serious, because it was a basic landing, and the test they did they ruled the ACL out,” Williams said. “I was just thinking it was a meniscus tear.”

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The prognosis changed when he returned to Lincoln and visited an orthopedic surgeon. An MRI revealed a torn ACL in his left knee.

Williams didn’t know how Nebraska’s coaches would react to the news of his injury. But on Friday, he was reassured of their support.

“Knowing they are still on board and I am part of their plan makes me feel pretty confident with them,” Williams said.

Nebraska recommended an orthopedic surgeon — the same one Williams visited this week — and a physical therapist to help him rehab after surgery. Williams plans to “keep in touch a lot” with Husker coaches moving forward.

The swelling in his knee has gone down, and he is back to walking as normally as possible. Surgery is scheduled for April 30, and he hopes to make it back for the start of the Navigators’ season in November.

“That is what I am shooting for,” he said. “They say it usually takes about six months to recover because of the technology now. Hopefully I can make it back in five months, but I’m not going to rush it.”

Williams, the top-ranked player in the NebHSRecruiting rankings for the 2020 class, committed to former Nebraska coach Tim Miles in August. He was a second-team All-Nebraska selection and averaged 21 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while leading North Star to the Class A semifinals.

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