Duke star teaches kids about living life after basketball
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Several big name local coaches spent the day at Stall High School in North Charleston. One of the guys in town for the camp has quite a story to tell.
He's a Duke University legend, a second-overall pick in the NBA, but Jay Williams saw his playing career fall apart after a horrific motorcycle accident a decade ago.
It's still an incredible story for local kids to hear because when Williams speaks, they listen. They may not have seen him play, but what he has to say means much more than a highlight reel.
"I've heard people call it a cautionary tale before. I think it's a tale of triumph. I was drafted in the NBA, I made a dumb decision. We all make decisions that can go one way or another. For me, it went the negative road but I lived to tell my story," Williams said.
The kids are smart. They can see through guys faking it, but with Williams it's as real as it gets. He doesn't just preach being ready for life after basketball, he lives it.
But he's no washed up NBA vet.
"I share my experiences about working out with Kobe (Bryant), Lebron (James), Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving. I showed them today -- we did a 10-minute warmup. These kids were tired so I tell them, 'That's warmup, not an NBA workout.' Just giving them that perspective, that's the difference," he said.
And there was a cool reunion in North Charleston as well.
In the gym with Williams Friday was a guy who knows what the kids in the camp may not -- how good Williams once was. Former College of Charleston head coach Bobby Cremins tried to pick Williams up out of high school.
"He's a main reason I got out of coaching! Jay Williams is an incredible person, one of the greatest college basketball players I've ever seen," said Cremins.
"I love coach Cremins. I wish I could have played for him at Georgia Tech. I will always support him. He loves this game; a lot of people love what the game could provide. Bobby just loves the game," Williams said.
And so does Williams.
He spends his time passing his knowledge of the game to people hoping to live out their own hoop dreams. He stays involved how he can.
Now he's known for his TV work, even calling some Charleston Classic games at the College of Charleston.
"I live in California, but I tell everyone if I have to live any other place it'd be here in Charleston," he said. "I love to do TV. I watched you last night. I want to host a show. My love and passion for that has replaced it for basketball."
The Lowcountry campers love basketball, but there has to be a life away from -- and after -- the game. That's where Williams comes in, teaching them the way.