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Jay Williams Interview!

By September 28, 2009No Comments

DukeBlogger: Jay, thank you so much for taking time to hook up with us. It’s an honor to have you with us. We have followed your entire career and you have been a game changer on the court and off the court. It’s nice to see someone doing it the right way.

Jay Williams: First off, I wanted to say thank you to the Duke Blogger for all of your support through out my career and life.  It has been a journey in which each step has been truly amazing. I think that sometimes we move so fast in this life that we don’t take the time to appreciate the small things.  “Life isn’t measured by the amount of breaths you take but rather by the moments that take your breath away”.  Everyday on my twitter page (RealJayWilliams) I try to start the day off with an inspiring quote to help everyone start their day off on a positive note. My quote today is by Henry David Thoreau. “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”.

Ok, So here we go:

DukeBlogger: Obviously you have a plethora of ventures in business, sports and media. Have you ever thought about a future in the coaching ranks later on in your career?

Jay Williams: coaching is something that I am very torn about!  I  truly love the on-court interaction and working with the athlete on an individual basis.  I got a chance to work with Greg Paulus a lot last summer and thoroughly enjoyed seeing him gain more and more confidence.  When the Duke position became open I heavily considered the opportunity. The big negative about coaching that I don’t know if everyone understands is that these coaches spend so much time on the road recruiting.  Something about your job stability pending on a 14, 15,16 or 17 year old kid making a commitment really scares me! I had a rare opportunity to be involved in a sports agency about 5 years ago and it really turned me off to recruiting in general. Just hearing some of the demands of these kids were absolutely ridiculous.  Back in 1999, all I wanted to do was win a National Championship, get a great education and to hopefully one day play in the NBA. I even turned down an opportunity to leave school early in order to complete my degree.  I understand and do not judge that there are different strokes for different folks. Right now I just love doing television and breaking the game down!

DukeBlogger: How has your young age helped or hindered you as a broadcaster?

Jay Williams: My age definitely has its positives and negatives for when it comes to broadcasting.  Being 28 years of age really allows me to relate to the players and the experiences they are going through.  It also helps that I am heavily involved in a lot of the same social media outlets.  It allows for me to have communication and hear their opinions on a bunch of different topics.  Its also pretty cool because sometimes I develop personal relationships with the guys. DeSean Butler, a forward from West Virginia, and I are pretty tight. So I get to hear his stories about his workouts and stuff going on in his life. I think one of the biggest obstacles is just the experience factor. For example, a guy like Digger Phelps who has coached for over 20 plus years has a ton of experience to refer too.  I have to continue to be heavily involved throughout the summer in different basketball circles to have material to reference too throughout the season. Another obstacle that is very challenging is trying to articulate a thought while you have a IFB in your ear.  A IFB is a device in which the producer of the show speaks to you and directs you too which camera you are speaking into.  There are usually three or so cameras and each time they change camera, you have to slowly turn and re-direct while your in the middle of a sentence.  Sometimes if you have a comical producer, they will talk trash to you while your in the middle of a thought. It makes it very challenging but also very fun!

Dukeblogger: Obviously basketball is a huge part of your life but you have gone on to do great things off the court as well. What would you say has been the most fulfilling for you and what of your current endeavors, which has you the most excited?

Jay Williams: What I am most proud of is that fact that I was the first player to graduate Duke in three years.  Every summer was so busy but at the end of the day my education was the reason I was there. College was the best experience of my life and I am so happy that I made the decision to pass up the NBA and continue my education.  It turned out to be the biggest decision that I have ever made. As we all know, my life took a left when I was planning to go right. But I am and will always be ok because basketball is not who I am.  I went to school because I wanted to be more and I accomplished that goal.  I now own a couple of restaurants and am involved in a lot of different businesses. That’s what a great education can do for you.  It can teach to understand the position you are in and how to leverage it! Thank you Duke University!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dukeblogger: This is a guilty pleasure question but who is the toughest guard you have ever faced, college or pro?

Jay Williams: Ok, so Chris Duhon would answer this question as so: Guarded?????? What are you talking about, Jay never guarded anybody.. He just worried about shooting the ball on the time… haha

There are three people that come to mind instantly. The fastest player I ever guarded was Allen Iverson. He was 5’11 and only a 180 pounds but his ability to change direction was truly jaw dropping. His first step was the quickest that I have ever seen.  A lot of people say he flops way too much but the fact of the matter is that he really gets hit.  He is not that big physically but is one of the toughest players to play in the League. The 2nd person was Jason Kidd.  Most people don’t realize that he is 6’4 and weighs over 21 5 pounds.  This guy never stops running around. He is the energizer bunny of point guards.  That’s why he always gets a triple doubles.  It’s hard to stop someone who just gives continuous effort each possession.  The last person is Kobe Bryant.  I watched him work out for 2 in a half hours before our game.  I thought to myself, this guy isn’t going to have any legs by the time the game starts.  Well I was absolutely wrong!!!!! He had 49 on us that game.  Every shot he took in the game was exactly the way he shot the ball during his workout.  Kobe Bryant is a beast and outworks everyone.  That’s what makes him the best.

Dukeblogger: College athletics have changed so much in just the few short years since you were there. What are some of the biggest changes you have noticed and being as highly regarded and recruited as you were, were you as aware as the kids are now about the business aspect of college sports?

Jay Williams: I think the biggest change is the visibility of the players.  It amazes me how we have kids ranked from the time they’re in 7th grade. I think it puts way too much pressure on the kid to live up to that expectation.  I was never ranked in the top 20 of my class until the end of my junior year of high school.  I didn’t even get invited to a All-American camp until going into my Senior year. I saw so many players who were supposedly ranked pretty high fall left and right.  Not being ranked gave me more fire power to work at my game and that eventually paid off down the road. The media is the gift and the curse. You can probably find more on youtube about Avery Bradley (an elite guard going to Texas) than you could on me.  That’s the biggest change from then too now. Every move by athletes these days can be critiqued by the public.  A great example of that is Tyshawn Taylor from Kansas.  He got into a fight and was arrested. Now back in the day, the university and coach could of kept this incident’s visibility at a minimum.  They would of taken care of everything internally. But now do to social networking sites, the incidents is talked about Nationally. He even made a comment on Facebook that was then reported by television stations. The pressure on kids these is a on a totally different level!

Dukeblogger: Quite a bit of us follow your career just as much now as we did then, we would love to know what things are on the horizon for you, and where can we see more of you and will we be seeing Jay Williams on the court anything soon?

Jay Williams: I don’t think playing is still in my tank.  I love the game of basketball like no other but my body isn’t what it use to be. I still get offers to be involved in things from time to time but graciously turn them down.  I love doing television and talking about the game. Who knows, maybe one day I can even have my own show. I will just continue to keep working hard at my craft and believe.  Believing is what lead me to be a National Champion and a number 2 pick in the draft. It worked for me then and I pray to God that it will continue.  Thank you so much for your time and it is always good to come home and be with family. I will continue to give updates on college basketball and the NBA on my twitter page at RealJayWilliams.