“Always in the gym” – Who is Gilboa Galil guard Payton Willis?

Nov 5, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Payton Willis joined Hapoel Gilboa Galil for the 2022/23 season and so far he’s been as good s advertised scoring 20.5 points per game. For the University of Minnesota he averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals in his last college campaign after the guard began his college career with Vanderbilt and also spent time Charleston.

Over the summer, Willis who is from Arkansas played with Israeli big man Gaby Chachashvili with the Golden State Warriors Summer League team.

Just ahead of Gilboa’s game at Hapoel Tel Aviv, let’s find out what Gilboa fans can expect to see from Willis on the floor, The Sports Rabbi spoke to his new coach along who former teammates.

Rami Hadar, Gilboa Galil Coach: Payton is very talented and is worth giving the opportunity to play in Israel’s firsts division. He has skills, court vision and real passion for the game and when I put all those characteristics together I believe that there is a very good chance that it will work. Am I 100% certain that it will be a success? It would be be wrong of me to say that right now, but the chances that it will as a rookie are very good. I think that he is a very good player, an intelligent person with a lot of passion and combining that with his other elements and technical skills that he has, that should help him be an influential player for the short term.

Vanderbilt teammates:

Larry Austin: Payton is a great player even better person! He really works on his game and gets the extra work in. He’s poised and doesn’t let anyone speed him up. He can score at all 3 levels and really knows how to run his team at the PG spot and also can slide to the 2-3 position! You guys have a great one in him.

Riley LaChance: Payton is a great player. He brings a lot to the table for every team he plays on. He can really shoot the ball and his play making skills are very good as well. He’s a good passer and always makes the right play. I think he’ll do very well in Gilboa and I’m excited to watch his career

Jeff Roberson: Payton was one of my favorite teammates I’ve played with. He’s one of the guys you pretty much have to kick out of the gym because he works hard. He’s a big lead guard that can run a team and score at a high level, I think he will be a huge matchup problem for other guards. He has a high IQ, he’s a great teammate and he wants to win. I think this will be the beginning of a long professional career for him.

Maxwell Evans: When I first entered college at Vanderbilt University being a younger guy on the team where Payton was older, he was someone I connected to instantly and really taught me the game and helped me developed. Payton was always in the gym and he was one of those guys you could count on to be there early before and after practice. I think what also separates Payton from other guys is his attitude. He is someone that you can be around for hours and learn a lot from. Payton can change any team around from the dynamics of his game to outside shooting to mid range finishing at the rim and also in the defensive in. Payton is a start to any team winning a championship.

Minnesota teammate Alihan Demir: Payton is a great character super nice guy with great skills on and off the court. He is one of those guys you want on your team for both on-off the court leadership skills that he has.

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