BasketballSportsThe Buzz

SAU Scoring Leader says 2023-24 Men’s Basketball Season is the Turnaround

Above: Will Spriggs lines up for a free throw in
last years matchup against Drake. Photo by Paige Billy.

In his fourth year at SAU, senior basketball player, shooting guard, and leading
scorer, Will Spriggs, says he plans to carry his team to a winning season after a two-
year losing record. He hails from Jacksonville, Florida, where he attended Mandarin
High School. Will says he started playing basketball when he was in the fifth grade. He
says he has always been undersized compared to his friends and his opponents.

“I was significantly smaller than my friends, and when we would play pick up or
something, I wouldn’t get picked up or I would get chosen last.” He remembers he
always struggled to get chosen for a team while playing pick-up because the other kids
would just look at him and judge his size without seeing him actually play.

“When I got to high school, things were a little better for me because I decided to get
better and be the best player on every team. So I started waking up early before school,
going to the gym, and then after school going right back. I’m talking as early as 5 a.m.,
and I stayed until 6:30, then got to school by 7. That consistency helped mold me into
the player I am today because my work ethic and perseverance have pushed me past
those people I used to be worse than.”

“I have done Will’s early morning workouts and drills,” says teammate and senior Jamon
Thomas. “He really puts everything he has into this sport. We’ve gone to the gym as
early as 4 a.m. to start shooting and working out. His work ethic is beyond anyone I
have ever played with before.”

Will says he doesn’t only love playing basketball, he loves watching it as well. One
player that Will tries to mold his game off of is the late Kobe Bryant. Kobe is known for
his work ethic and dedication to the game. He was always the first in the gym and the
last one to leave. Will mentioned, “What I learned from Kobe was that hard work beats
talent always; as long as you outwork whoever you go against, there shouldn’t be any
competition or comparison between you and anyone else.” Will says the most important
skill a basketball player needs to have to succeed is “The ability to think: having a good
basketball IQ is essential to being a good basketball player.” He says people always
think about scoring, passing, or even defense. “Although these skills are very important
in the game of basketball, the way you look at the game helps you use them the right

Will never gets away from basketball, as his off the court hobby is playing NBA 2K with
his friends. “If I’m not playing video games, I may just be on my phone scrolling through
TikTok or Instagram looking at funny videos. But nine times out of 10, I’m watching
something that has to do with basketball in some way, shape, or form.”

After Ambrose, Will wants to play professional basketball anywhere he can get a
chance. But if it doesn’t work out, his backup plan is to start training young athletes for

basketball or start coaching. Senior basketball player Elijah Campos said, “His eyes and
knowledge of the game are unmatched. Will knows the ins and outs of basketball and if
he doesn’t go anywhere as a player after SAU, he’d be a great coach and mentor for
any program out there.” Will concludes, “My goals and aspirations are to be
remembered as someone who never quit or gave up no matter how hard things got. I
enjoy being looked at as an example of hard work. Although I put myself through a great
deal of exhausting work, I know that the work is going to pay off.”

Tanner Irey is a staff writer for The Buzz.