The Journey of Jay Williams
Producer: Tim Walker
With the 2013 NBA draft set for next week, memorable draft moments from the past loom large for many fans. In 2002, the talk centered on Yao Ming, the seven-foot, six-inch center from China, and junior point guard Jay Williams of Duke. The 2002 Naismith National Player of the Year and a 2001 national champion as a Blue Devil, Williams was selected second overall by the Chicago Bulls and considered the heir to Michael Jordan. Following his rookie season, however, a motorcycle mishap left his leg permanently damaged, costing him his career and nearly his life, haunting him for years. Now 31 and an ESPN studio analyst, Williams has emerged from a suicidal fog with new purpose and, remarkably, views his accident as a blessing. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Jon Frankel interviews Williams, who talks about the crash on TV for the first time, nearly ten years to the day after the event.