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Jay Williams (basketball): Wikis

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Jay Williams
Point guard
Born September 10, 1981 (1981-09-10) (age 28)
Plainfield, New Jersey
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 195 lb (88 kg)
High school St. Joseph (Metuchen, New Jersey)
College Duke University
Draft 2nd overall, 2002
Chicago Bulls
Pro career 2002–2003, 2006
Former teams Chicago Bulls (2002-2003)
New Jersey Nets (2006)
Austin Toros (2006)
Awards 2002 Naismith College Player of the Year
2002 Oscar Robertson Trophy
2002 John R. Wooden Award

Jason David Williams (born September 10, 1981 in Plainfield, New Jersey), professionally known as Jay Williams, is a former American professional basketball player. He last signed with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, but was waived on December 30, 2006 to rehabilitate a nagging injury.[1] Even though his first name is actually Jason, he asked to be known as "Jay" upon joining the National Basketball Association in 2002. This was necessary to avoid confusion with then-active NBA players Jason Williams and Jayson Williams. Williams claimed that "Jay" was what he was called by those close to him.

Contents

High school

The 6'2" (188 cm) point guard grew up in New Jersey, and attended St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, graduating in 1999. He not only excelled at basketball, but took an active interest in other activities, most notably chess. His nickname in high school was "Jay Dubs." Williams also played junior varsity soccer during his freshman year and varsity volleyball during his senior year. In basketball that year, Williams was named a First Team All-State Player in New Jersey, the New Jersey Player of the Year, a Parade All-American, a USA Today first team All-American, and a McDonald's All-American, where he competed in the Slam Dunk Contest and the McDonald's All-American Game, scoring 20 points in the contest. He was also named the recipient of the 1999 Morgan Wooten Award for his basketball achievements and his work in the classroom, where he maintained a 3.6 GPA.

College career

At Duke, Williams became one of the few freshmen in Duke's history to average double figures in scoring, and was named ACC Rookie of the Year and National Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News, averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per contest. He was also a first team Freshman All-American by Basketball Times.

In the summer of 2000, Williams played as a member of the U.S. select team, a group of college players picked to play an exhibition against USA Basketball's "Dream Team", helping his team to surprisingly dominate the much more experienced pros for the first half of the game, before eventually succumbing to defeat in the second half.

Back at Duke that fall, Williams started all 39 games as a sophomore and led the Devils to the 2001 NCAA National Championship, earning NABC Player of the Year honors. His 841 points broke Dick Groat’s 49-year record for points in a season, while he led all tournament scorers with a 25.7 ppg average. Williams also set the NCAA Tournament record for three-pointers attempted (66), while also making 132 three-point field goals -- good for the sixth-highest total in NCAA history. His 21.6 ppg led the ACC and made him the first Duke player since Danny Ferry (1989) to lead the league in scoring. His 6.1 assists were good for second in the league, while he also ranked second in three-point field goal percentage (.427) and first in three-pointers made (3.4 per game). Williams, widely considered the best player in college basketball, proved his supporters correct, earning both the prestigious Naismith Award and Wooden Award as College Basketball's Player of the Year in 2002. His prolific career was even more amazing given the fact that he accomplished these feats in only three years, graduating with a degree in Sociology in 2002. He would leave Duke with 2,079 points, good for sixth all-time, and would have his jersey number 22 retired at Senior Day.

NBA career

Williams was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the second overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, after Chinese player Yao Ming who was selected first by the Houston Rockets.

He played for the US national team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.[2]

Williams was a starter in the Bulls' line-up for most of the 2002-03 NBA season. Although his performance was inconsistent and he competed for playing time with Jamal Crawford, he showed signs of promise including posting a triple-double in a win over his hometown team, the New Jersey Nets.

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Motorcycle accident

Williams' life almost ended on June 19, 2003 when he crashed his motorcycle into a pole at the intersection of Fletcher and Honore in Chicago, Illinois. Williams was not wearing a helmet, wasn't licensed to drive a motorcycle in Illinois, and was violating terms of his contract [3] by driving a new Yamaha YZF-R6. Williams severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis and tore three ligaments in his left knee including the ACL and required physical therapy to regain the use of his leg. A week later the Bulls drafted point guard Kirk Hinrich. Many months later, after it was clear Williams would not be returning to the Bulls for some time (if at all), he was waived. The Bulls could have refused to pay Williams (since he violated his contract by riding a motorcycle), but instead they offered a buyout worth approximately $3 million. At the time, it was not clear that he would be able to return to professional basketball, although he continued to train toward that goal. In the interim, he appeared in college and high school basketball broadcasts on ESPN as a commentator.

Return to basketball

In the summer of 2006, Williams impressed scouts with his recovery efforts. On September 28, 2006, the New Jersey Nets announced that the organization had signed Williams to a non-guaranteed contract, giving the guard the opportunity to play for his hometown team. However, on October 22, Williams was released.[4]

On December 30, 2006, Williams was waived by the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League due to injury.[5]

Williams has since announced that he has no plans at the moment to resume his basketball career. He is currently working for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. He has also done motivational speaking and worked as an analyst on CBS College Sports Network during the course of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.[6]

References

External links

Preceded by
Shane Battier
John R. Wooden Award (men)
2002
Succeeded by
T.J. Ford
Preceded by
Shane Battier
Naismith College Player of the Year (men)
2002
Succeeded by
T. J. Ford

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