Tuesday, May 7, 2024

William Steger, Jr.: Thriving on the Courts and Off

William Steger, Jr.

At the University of the Virgin Islands, William Steger, Jr., Guard for the UVI men’s basketball team, found not only a new home but also a pathway to pursue his passion for basketball and entrepreneurship.

Steger’s love for the game was ignited at an early age when his father introduced him to basketball and nurtured his talent.

“My dad liked basketball, so he put the ball in my hands, and I just fell in love with it. So ever since I was young, I've excelled in anything athletically,” Steger recalls.

Throughout high school in Virginia, Steger excelled on the basketball court, earning accolades such as First Team All-State and Player of the Year in his team’s conference. His impressive skills caught the attention of college recruiters, leading to a scholarship offer from Saint Augustine University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

After transferring to a junior college back home in Virginia, Steger received a scholarship from UVI, where he has since thrived both academically and athletically.

"I chose UVI because I felt like it was the best option for me at the time. It allowed me to pursue my dream of playing basketball and get an education,” he shares, reflecting on the pivotal decision that led him to trade the bustling streets of Virginia for the tranquil beauty of St. Thomas.

“At first, I will say it was a little bit of a culture shock,” he admits. “There were things I was not used to in the islands, such as driving on a different side of the road and getting acclimated with the culture. I was not used to people telling me ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good night.’”

Although Steger quickly found his footing at UVI and readily embraced his new surroundings, he found himself missing home frequently.

“Being so far away from home, sometimes you get a little homesick, but I just pushed through it. Basketball helped a lot because I wasn't really focused on being so far away from home,” he said.

Directing his energy and drive towards his basketball career and fostering relationships with his fellow Buccaneers helped Steger to manage his homesickness. As they traveled around the country together, the team developed brotherly bonds.

“​​We did a lot of traveling, which helped us bond together more. It made us more of a cohesive unit,” said Steger, who described the team as a closely knit family united by a deep drive to win.

The camaraderie from his teammates, coaching staff, UVI faculty, and community helped Steger thrive on and off the court, making his experience at UVI one filled with belonging and unity.

Ending his final season by winning four of the last six games, Steger is set to graduate with a bachelor's degree in Communications. He is excited about embarking on the next chapter of his journey, which includes returning to UVI to pursue a master's degree while also launching an entrepreneurial venture to resell shoes and clothes for an affordable price.