Jalen Williams

American basketball player (born 2001)

Jalen Williams
No. 8 – Oklahoma City Thunder
PositionSmall forward / shooting guard
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (2001-04-14) April 14, 2001 (age 23)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolPerry (Gilbert, Arizona)
CollegeSanta Clara (2019–2022)
NBA draft2022: 1st round, 12th overall pick
Selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder
Playing career2022–present
Career history
2022–presentOklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Jalen Devonn Williams (born April 14, 2001), also known by his nickname J-Dub, is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Santa Clara Broncos for three seasons before declaring for the 2022 NBA draft where he was selected by the Thunder in the first round.

High school career

Williams played basketball at Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona. Starting off as a 6-feet tall point guard, Williams grew five inches from his sophomore to senior year of high school. Despite this, Santa Clara still listed him as a 6'3" guard when Williams signed his national letter of intent.[1] As a senior, Williams was ranked 9th among prep players in Arizona by 247Sports. Williams ended his high school career averaging more than 25 points per game in his senior year, being named the Chandler Unified School District Player of the Year as a junior, and was awarded the 2017–18 Region Offensive Player of the Year.[2]

Recruiting

Rated as a three-star recruit by major recruiting services 247Sports and Rivals, Williams committed to Santa Clara over offers from Hofstra and Nevada.[3]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Jalen Williams
SG
Gilbert, AZ Perry (AZ) 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Nov 2, 2018 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports:3/5 stars
Overall recruiting rankings:   247Sports: 230
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "Santa Clara 2019 Basketball Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  • "2019 Santa Clara Basketball Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  • "2019 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved November 2, 2018.

College career

On November 5, 2019, Williams made his debut for Santa Clara, recording 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals against UC Santa Cruz.[4] As a freshman, Williams played in all 33 games, starting in the final 23 games while leading the team in steals with 44 – which ranked third on the school's all-time freshman list.[2] Against Mississippi Valley State, Williams had season bests with 19 points, 7 rebound, and career highs in field goals, three-pointers, and assists.[5] He finished his freshman season averaging 7.7 points in 25.5 minutes. In his sophomore season, Williams started in all of his 18 appearances and was second on the team in scoring and free throw percentage.[2] In the opening round of the 2021 WCC tournament, Williams recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against Pepperdine in a 78–70 loss.[6] He increased his scoring average to 11.5 points in 31.6 minutes in his sophomore season.[2]

In his final season with Santa Clara, Williams emerged as a scorer, finishing second in the WCC with 18.0 points per game while shooting 51.3%. In 31 out of 33 games, Williams scored in double figures including scoring 16 or more points in 21 games.[2] Against Hawaii, Williams registered a career-high 30 points with four rebounds and four assists on November 30, 2021.[7] On January 27, 2022, Williams hit a game-winning shot against BYU while finishing with 26 points.[8] On March 15, 2022 in the 2022 NIT, Williams played his final collegiate game, finishing with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 assists in a 63–50 loss against Washington State.[9] At the end of the season, Williams was named as a First Team All-WCC selection, Second Team NABC All-District, and was named as a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, given to the nation's top mid-major player.[2]

As a three-year guard, Williams finished his collegiate career as a two-time All-WCC choice and reached 1,000 career points as a junior after averaging 12.6 points on 46.9% shooting for his career.[2] On March 31, 2022, Williams declared for the 2022 NBA draft while maintaining his collegiate eligibility.[10]

Professional career

Oklahoma City Thunder (2022–present)

Described as a long, smooth small forward who can score on strong efficiency numbers while showing a sense of urgency and can use his length to contest shots, Williams was drafted 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2022 NBA draft.[11][12] With the selection, Williams became the first Santa Clara player to be drafted since Steve Nash in 1996. He is currently the highest drafted Bronco prospect in the modern era and the second-highest in Santa Clara history behind Ken Sears in 1955.[13]

2022–2023: Rookie season

On October 19, 2022, Williams made his NBA debut, putting up 5 points in 6 minutes before taking a hit defending a dunk attempt by Jaden McDaniels. He would leave the game and later undergo surgery to address a right orbital bone fracture.[14] After missing four games, Williams started sporadically for the Thunder until forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl suffered a right ankle sprain which made him the full-time starter. With guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sidelined, Williams scored 27 points and helped rallied the Thunder from a 20-point second-half deficit against the San Antonio Spurs on November 30, 2022.[15] The next day, he was named NBA Rookie of the Month for October/November after averaging 10.7 points on 52.4% shooting, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. He became the third Thunder rookie to win Rookie of the Month honors after Russell Westbrook and Josh Giddey.[16] On January 31, 2023, Williams was named to the 2023 Rising Stars Challenge after averaging 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.7 steals in 46 games. Against the Utah Jazz, Williams recorded a career-high 32 points on 12–15 shooting in a 129–119 win.[17] Without Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams was one point shy of tying his then career-high with 31 points along with 4 steals in a 137–134 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.[18] After the Thunder fell two games under .500, Williams had a putback with less than a second in a 107–106 win after Josh Giddey's hook shot rolled off. He led the Thunder with 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists and joined Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to have three or more games with at least 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in a season as a rookie.[19][20] Williams was later named his second NBA Rookie of the Month award for March and April.[21] In his rookie season, Williams averaged 14.1 points on 52% shooting and finished second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting with 75 second place votes and 16 third place votes.[22] Williams was later named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team becoming the second Thunder player to be named to it and the fifth Thunder player overall to be named to an All-Rookie team.[23]

2023–2024

On December 27, 2023, Williams scored a career-high 36 points in a 129–120 win over the New York Knicks.[24]

On January 23, 2024, Williams put up 19 points alongside a game-winning jumpshot in a 111–109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.[25]

National team career

In preparation for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Williams was selected to the 2023 USA Basketball Men’s Select team alongside Thunder teammate Chet Holmgren.[26]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2022–23 Oklahoma City 75 62 30.3 .521 .356 .812 4.5 3.3 1.4 .5 14.1
Career 75 62 30.3 .521 .356 .812 4.5 3.3 1.4 .5 14.1

Play-in

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2023 Oklahoma City 2 2 36.1 .375 .308 .750 4.0 3.5 2.5 .5 14.0
Career 2 2 36.1 .375 .308 .750 4.0 3.5 2.5 .5 14.0

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2019–20 Santa Clara 33 22 25.5 .436 .352 .763 2.8 1.9 1.3 0.5 7.7
2020–21 Santa Clara 18 17 31.6 .399 .274 .757 4.1 2.3 1.2 0.6 11.5
2021–22 Santa Clara 33 33 34.8 .513 .396 .809 4.4 4.2 1.2 0.5 18.0
Career 84 72 30.5 .469 .352 .785 3.7 2.9 1.2 .5 12.6

Personal life

Williams was born in Denver, Colorado but moved to Arizona when he was 7 years old. His parents – Ronald and Nicole Williams – were both members of the United States Air Force. His younger brother, Cody Williams, is a consensus five-star recruit who plays college basketball at Colorado.[2]

References

  1. ^ "Breaking through the cracks: Perry High product Jalen Williams blossoming at Santa Clara". cronkitenews.com. February 14, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Santa Clara Broncos: JALEN WILLIAMS's Bio". santaclarabroncos.com.
  3. ^ "247Sports: Jalen Williams's Recruiting". 247sports.com.
  4. ^ "UC Santa Cruz vs. Santa Clara Box Score (Men), November 5, 2019". sports-reference.com.
  5. ^ "Mississippi Valley State vs. Santa Clara Box Score (Men), December 20, 2019". sports-reference.com.
  6. ^ "Santa Clara vs. Pepperdine Box Score (Men), March 6, 2021". sports-reference.com.
  7. ^ "Hawaii vs. Santa Clara Box Score (Men), November 30, 2021". sports-reference.com.
  8. ^ "Brigham Young vs. Santa Clara Box Score (Men), January 27, 2022". sports-reference.com.
  9. ^ "Santa Clara vs. Washington State Box Score (Men), March 15, 2022". sports-reference.com.
  10. ^ "Jalen Williams To Test The NBA Draft Waters". santaclarabroncos.com. March 31, 2022.
  11. ^ "2022 NBA DRAFT PROFILE: Jalen Williams". nba.com.
  12. ^ "Thunder Welcomes 2022 Draft Class". nba.com. June 24, 2022.
  13. ^ "Jalen Williams Selected 12th Overall In 2022 NBA Draft". santaclarabroncos.com. June 23, 2022.
  14. ^ "Thunder's Jalen Williams has surgery for orbital bone fracture". espn.com. October 21, 2022.
  15. ^ "Spurs vs Thunder - November 30, 2022". nba.com. November 30, 2022.
  16. ^ "Jalen Williams, Bennedict Mathurin named Kia Rookies of the Month". nba.com. December 1, 2022.
  17. ^ "Jazz vs Thunder - March 5, 2023". nba.com. March 5, 2023.
  18. ^ "Hornets vs Thunder - March 28, 2023". nba.com. March 28, 2023.
  19. ^ "Pistons vs Thunder - March 29, 2023". nba.com. March 29, 2023.
  20. ^ "Only 3 rookies in Thunder history have 3 games with 25+ PTS, 5+ AST, and 5+ REB: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jalen Williams". twitter.com. March 29, 2023.
  21. ^ "Paolo Banchero, Jalen Williams named Kia NBA Rookies of the Month". nba.com. April 11, 2023.
  22. ^ "Paolo Banchero named 2022-23 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year". nba.com. April 25, 2023.
  23. ^ "Jalen Williams Named to All-Rookie First Team". nba.com. May 8, 2023.
  24. ^ Postrado, Jay (December 28, 2023). "Jalen Williams' efficient game in Thunder vs. Knicks has never been seen before". ClutchPoints. Retrieved December 28, 2023.
  25. ^ House, Alex (January 23, 2024). "Thunder's Jalen Williams gets brutally honest on shooting like 'trash' before game-winner". ClutchPoints. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  26. ^ "Holmgren and Williams Named to USA Select Team". nba.com. July 24, 2023.

External links

  • Santa Clara Broncos bio
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Oklahoma City Thunder roster
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First round
Second round