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Gonzaga’s Johnathan Williams displays balanced play, even while missing a shoe

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 27, 2018

Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams wrestles with San Francisco forward Nate Renfro for a loose ball, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams wrestles with San Francisco forward Nate Renfro for a loose ball, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Inside the Kennel on Saturday, Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams got a special delivery – his shoe.

Nearly five minutes into the Bulldogs’ 82-73 win over San Francisco, Williams lost his shoe going up for an offensive rebound before Josh Perkins buried a long 3-pointer to give the Zags an 18-7 lead.

The shoe went flying off the court and Williams couldn’t find it before the Dons carried the ball to their side of the floor.

“I just kind of left it because I didn’t know where it went,” Williams said.

The imbalance didn’t hinder his defense. Williams got in front of San Francisco guard Frankie Ferrari and deflected his pass. The ball bounced out of bounds and stopped the clock.

Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth had recovered the shoe during the play and passed it along to nine-year-old Brooks McNamee to give to head coach Mark Few, and no one else apparently.

The ball boy rushed across the court to Gonzaga’s bench to deliver the size 17 shoe that was nearly half his size. Williams reached out for the shoe, but McNamee never even looked his way. The boy ran right past the shoeless giant and handed the blue sneaker off to Few, who tossed it back to the big man – following Roth’s instructions to a T.

“There’s no doubt about that,” Roth said with a laugh.

McNamee hurried back to his spot in the stands next to Gonzaga officials and garnered a few cheers from the Kennel Club for his swift delivery.

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