Posted February 09, 2013

Former Duke star Jay Williams says he attempted suicide after accident

NBA
Jay Williams suffered career-ending injuries in a motorcycle accident a year after he was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in 2002. (Stan Honda/Getty Images)

Jay Williams suffered career-ending injuries in a motorcycle accident a year after he was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in 2002. (Stan Honda/Getty Images)

In a New York Times profile nearly 10 years since a motorcycle accident effectively ended his career, Jay Williams details the emotional and psychological recovery he underwent in the years following the incident for the first time.

Williams, a National Freshman of the Year, NCAA champion and Naismith National Player of the Year for Duke in the early 2000s, told Times reporter Greg Bishop that he struggled with depression, went to the therapy and even attempted suicide.

“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.”

His mother added: “I came in. I saw it. I slept in the room every day after that.”

The story also details his injuries and physical recovery, his rise to a touted NBA prospect and his current life.

Williams, the No. 2 overall pick after Yao Ming went No. 1 in the 2002 draft, played 75 games during his only season in the NBA, averaging 9.5 points and 4.7 assists. He attempted a comeback in 2006, but never returned to the league.

He has worked for ESPN as a college basketball analyst since 2004 and is currently dating ESPN TV personality Charissa Thompson.


10 comments
6marK6
6marK6

Well, what happened?

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

You made a critical error and it cost you dearly.  At least you are still alive, young, not stupid, not ugly....plenty of other things you can do.  Hope he finds himself on the right path soon...

ThomasDixon
ThomasDixon

It was 10 years ago when Jay Williams had his accident,Come on How many time have we had to sit through a game and listen to him tell his sad story of how that motorcycle ended his career,His choose to buy the cycle,his choose to ride it,his choose to live or die he didn't die,now life goes on, he has a career in broadcasting,doing fine,living his life without a basketball career in the NBA,ENOUGH is ENOUGH,America and the world knows what happened to Jay Williams we are reminded of it every basketball season.............................................................

RyanBiddulph
RyanBiddulph

I give Jay credit. He is from my hometown and I played with him a few times at the park.

 

We all make mistakes. Some make them in front of the world.

 

Happy, positive kid overall. I am glad he is becoming a success in another niche.

 

Good for him.

SteveClodfelter
SteveClodfelter

Yeah that was sad, but he chose to ride that bike. Young men and money, especially young poor men and money often don't mix well and they go a little crazy for a while. He would've had a good career. And depression is an awful thing. I've been dealing with it for a long time, and you can't make someone understand what it's like. It's not boo-hoo, i have a scratch on my new car, it's the darkest saddest place your mind can take you, and you feel like an alien on a foreign planet where no  one can help you and your only way out is death.

 

Until you go there yourself, you can never know what someone is going though. That's why when someone is acting strange, don't just blow it off, and if they are talking about death a lot or suicide, take it VERY seriously, or you may live to regret it. Depression really is a killer. I'm glad he made it through.

Dodgerguy R
Dodgerguy R

Sad what happened to Jay. I'm glad he got out of that depression. Have seen two people in my life struggle with depression and end their life. Gotta get help when something like depression takes hold of you.

Kurokage
Kurokage

I was expecting big things from this guy when he got drafted. I don't know what possessed him to be on a motorbike. But, when you're young dumb and rich, immortality is clearly one of your delusions. *sigh*

 

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

 @ThomasDixon Did someone force you to read this article and post a comment about it.  Try not wasting energy and being so damn negative.

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

 @SteveClodfelter Hey, man....I hope and pray you overcome your depression.  I don't want to ever go there but I empathize with you.  Work out on a regular basis, we now know that releases feel-good chemicals in our brain and I think we all need that.  Best wishes to you!