Two seniors ready to lead the way back to the promised land

Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Georgia State men’s basketball seniors Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams have played their final regular season games with the team, and their final games at the GSU Sports Arena. Moving forward, every game could be their last because in the postseason, its win or go home.

Senior Day

Session and Williams were both honored before the March 3 game with a ceremony at half court when they were greeted by their parents. The two seniors ended their careers the same way they began at Georgia State– with a win.

Williams stole the show and went out with a bang, scoring a season-high 23 points, 16 of those coming in the first half. He got the Panthers going offensively in the first half when they were struggling.

“With [Zeke], I thought he saw the ball go in early and that helps. He can relax, and especially for a guy that’s a shooter, he saw it go in and it really helped him,” head coach Ron Hunter said.

Session didn’t play the game he imagined, but he still played a role in the team’s victory and finished a great a career at the Sports Arena.

“Sesh has had a great year, he’s had an unbelievable year, so as I told him no one game will define your season and more importantly your career here at Georgia State,” Hunter said.  

Session and Williams have accomplished a lot and won a lot during their time at Georgia State.

“When you’re in a class and three out of the four years you win 20-plus games, three out of the four years you go to postseason play, and then you graduate on time, that’s the culture of the program. That’s the legacy that our seniors set,” Hunter said. “So our seniors have set a high standard in this program.”

Now the seniors will turn their focus to making it to the 2018 NCAA Tournament for the second time within four years.

The Last Time with J Sesh

The Panthers last made the NCAA Tournament back after the 2014-15 season. They won the Sun Belt Conference’s tournament to get its automatic bid and entered the tournament as No.14 seed and defeated the No. 3 seed Baylor Bears behind the shot that everyone remembers by R.J. Hunter.

Session and Williams, along with Jeff Thomas, are the only members left from the tournament. However, Session is the only one of the three that played in the tournament as Williams and Thomas redshirted that year.

Session recalled his time with that group and their magical run to the tournament.

“It was my freshman year here, so coming in I didn’t know what to expect,” Session said. “I came into playing with Ryan Harrow and (R.J.) Hunter and a bunch of other great players. It was different from this team, but similar because this is a team full of talent. But when we went to the tournament, it was like, like something I couldn’t even put into words because it was something that I wasn’t used to.”

With this being Session’s last chance to make it to the NCAA tournament, it is important to him that he helps his team make another March run.

“It means everything for us to get back it the tournament, not just for me but for this team and this program,” Session said.

His actions are speaking louder than his words this season as he’s averaging 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds, but he has done a lot more. Session scored a career-high 22 points this season in a win over first place Louisiana. He has also added two double-doubles and several nine rebound games this season.

Those numbers show how much Session has improved from his freshman year. Despite the ups and downs, he has always remained focused and kept growing.

“I feel like I’ve improved all around, mentally, physically, spiritually,”  Session said. “I just feel like I’ve gotten a whole lot better as a player from high school to college.”

Whenever Session’s career ends, he just wants to be remembered for one thing.

“Hopefully one that continues the winning here,” Session said. “I just want to keep the winning alive here in this city and this state.”

Zeke

Williams or “Zeke” as some people like to call him, played one year at Samford before transferring to Georgia State. Williams has been a steady contributor for the Panthers throughout his career at Georgia State. This season, Williams has stepped up his play. He has scored double figures several times this season, and saved his highest total for his final game at the Sports Arena. His consistency can be credited.

“Just always staying in the gym, working on my craft, working on things to get better,” Williams said.

This season Williams surpassed the 1,000 career-point mark.

“I actually didn’t know it until after the game, one of the coaches had told me, so I didn’t know, but it was a great feeling. Not a lot of people get to accomplish something like that,” Williams said.

Williams also has one goal that he wants to accomplish and to be remembered for.

“Putting a championship up. I’ve been here three years, and I haven’t done that yet, so I want to put a championship banner up,” Williams said.

Williams has not only improved on the court, but off the court as well during his time here at Georgia State.

“I feel like I’ve matured a lot in my time here. Coaches, they focus on basketball, but they make sure that we grow as people and as men too, so I feel like they’ve helped me a lot with that,” Williams said.

Session and Williams both have goals of reaching the NCAA tournament to cap off their stellar college basketball careers. They have helped put the team in a good spot, and now all that is left is for them is to go out and do it.

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