Jay Williams Bio
Former Chicago Bulls Player, Duke Star
Jay Williams to Appear at NJDC
On Thursday, July 22nd, former All-American point guard and Chicago Bulls’ top draft choice Jay Williams will make a special guest appearance at NJDC (the National Junior Disability Championships), to address the young wheelchair basketball players at the start of their competition.
In 2002, Williams was widely acknowledged to be the best college basketball player in the country. He led the Duke Blue Devils to the national championship in 2001. And he won both the Naismith Award and the Wooden Award as College Basketball’s Player of the Year in 2002, the highest possible honors extended to a college basketball player. And remarkably, he managed to graduate from Duke in just 3 years with a sociology degree.
Williams was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the second overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, after Chinese player Yao Ming. As a rookie he became a starter for the Bulls at point guard, and was viewed as one of the league’s true rising stars and with a future that seemed almost unlimited.
On the night of June 19, 2003, Williams’ life almost ended, when he crashed his motorcycle on the streets of Chicago. He severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis, and tore three ligaments in his left knee. Serious consideration was given to amputating the leg, but doctors were able to save his life and the leg.
Williams spent the next three years attempting to regain his strength and basketball skills enough to be able to return to the NBA floors. But after playing 5 games with the New Jersey Nets in 2006, he was released.
Williams is currently a college basketball analyst for ESPN Television, and does motivational speaking.
At NJDC, he will speak to the players, their coaches, and their families about the important lessons he has drawn from dealing with his own life-altering physical adversity. Afterwards he will also meet and mingle with the young athletes on the sidelines as the 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball games take place.