Jay Williams was the number 2 pick of the 2002 NBA draft. The former Duke point guard with his clean cut image and the distinction of being one of a handful of freshman that averaged double figures for Duke realized his dream and made it to the NBA. But it all came to an end nearly 10 years ago after a motorcycle accident ended his NBA career and almost caused him to take his own life.
From the New York Times:
“I remember lying in my bed,” he said. “And I’m just tired of being here. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I was so afraid to face people. And I didn’t really know who I was. And I didn’t really want anybody to see me. And I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to talk about it.”
Williams glanced at his mother, Althea Williams, as he recounted the story. He continued: “I mean, to the point where I sat there, and I had this pair of scissors in my hand. I just kept going on my wrist. I wasn’t trying to go sideways. I was going vertical. I didn’t want to be here. At all.”
“That was the lowest point in my life,” Williams said. “And if I had more time, if the scissors weren’t dull, I think I would have followed through with it. I can’t say for sure. But I was leaning toward that.”
Williams wasn’t licensed to drive a motorcycle and it was in violation of his NBA contract. The accident shattered his left leg leaving him with a dislocated knee and pelvis, a torn nerve in his left foot, a severed artery, and a torn hamstring from the bone. Williams has had over 10 operations on his leg requiring 100 staples. Williams battled with depression and alcoholism until 2008.
Williams is currently working as a college basketball analyst for ESPN and dating fellow Sports Nation host, Charissa Thompson.