In his new book, “Life is Not an Accident,” Jay Williams admits the mistakes that cost him his career. But Paul Savramis says the Rising Stars alumni didn’t let fate deal him a final hand, and that he has played his cards better than anyone could have imagined.
Jay Williams was the first pick of the Chicago Bulls and the second pick overall in the 2002 NBA Draft. He was a national champion, two time all american and recent Duke University graduate (One of a very few to graduate in three years) with a promising career laid at his very talented feet, says Paul Savramis. But Williams was like most young men that experience a rapid rise to success.He was ready to take on the world, ready for whatever challenges might lie in his path and ready to experience life’s thrills and adventures. What he wasn’t ready for, however,was the possible consequences of too much too soon.
According to Paul Savramis, Jay Williams was 21-years old, leaving a business meeting in June of 2003, after just one season with the Bulls and on top of the world. In his book Jay details the graphic events of what happened after he boarded his motorcycle that fateful day when he crashed head first into a metal utility pole, ending his career in its infancy and almost costing him his life.
Jay spent months in recovery, finding himself addicted to painkillers and unable to hide from the scowls of the public. Paul Savramis says this is when most would have simply hung their head in shame and given up. Not Jay Williams. Williams “woke up” one day, knowing that his life was much more than one to be pitied. He picked himself up and began to take responsibility for what he had done to himself. Eventually, Williams landed a job as a sports analyst for ESPN and is currently working with the NBA.
Paul Savramis originally met young Jay Williams in grade school and was his coach and mentor throughout high school and college in the Rising Stars Program, which Savramis founded. The two became fast friends after college and closer still following his accident and recovery. Today, they work side-by-side building Rising Stars into a national foundation and advocating for better youth sports programs across the country.