Yuba City baseball player overcomes the odds, heads to Division II school on full scholarship

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YUBA CITY, Calif. (KTXL) — A Yuba City baseball player has been overcoming long odds for most of his life. 

Kyle Williams Jr. was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 11, and when his season was cut short this spring because of the pandemic, he overcame that too and landed a full scholarship. 

“It’s like dreams come true,” Williams told FOX40. “I’ve been waiting for this moment since whenever I could pick up a baseball, you know?”

Williams will be heading to Tusculum University, a small Division II private school in eastern Tennessee. 

“It’s surreal, you know. I don’t know how to put it into words,” said Williams. “It’s quite an accomplishment. I’m pretty proud of myself.”

After starting at River Valley High School, Williams went to Sierra College and played for just about two seasons, before the pandemic shut down his campaign. 

That, however, did not end his dream of landing a scholarship. 

“I’ve been ready since last year, I mean to go,” said Williams. “My game has a lot of improvement to do but I’m ready to conquer a lot.”

Williams has been overcoming obstacles since he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It’s a condition that inflames your digestive tract causing pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. 

“I was really sick. I mean, I lost 15, 20 pounds in about two weeks,” said Williams. “I felt like I was dying.” 

He said it took a good five years to adjust to all the needed changes in his life: surgeries, a new diet and a new way of life. 

“It just clicked, man,” said Kyle Williams Sr. “And he started training, started eating healthy and he started to grow up. It made him grow up a little faster than he expected.” 

Williams Jr. said that baseball taught him a lot, especially when it came to handling Crohn’s disease. 

“Baseball’s taught me a lot. It teaches you to come back each like it’s a new day. So, I mean, I took the same approach to Crohn’s, you know,” said Williams Jr. “I’m going to tackle it. I’m going to conquer it. I’m going to not let it stop me to where I want to get.”

Maybe one day, that just might be the Major Leagues. 

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