Saturday, February 9, 2013

Former Duke star Jay Williams says he tried suicide after career-ending motorcycle crash

It has been nearly 10 years ago since former Duke point guard Jay Williams was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that effectively ended his professional basketball career. And now for the first time, the former No. 2 overall pick has decided to shed some light on his difficult road to recovery in the years following the incident.

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.”

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

“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, 31, sustained a total knee dislocation in the accident, as well as a disclocated pelvis, a torn nerve in his left foot, a severed artery, and a torn hamstring from the bone. The former NCAA champion has had over 10 surgical procedures on his injured leg since that fateful crash in June 2003.

Now, Williams currently works as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, a position he has held since 2004.

The former Naismith National Player of the Year averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists for the Chicago Bulls in his rookie season. That 2002 campaign turned out to be his one and only season in the NBA.

He attempted a comeback in 2006, but never managed to return to the elite player he was before the accident.

Via New York Times


  1. I'm glad to see Jay Williams was able to realize that life has alot to offer and other career outlets besides basketball, its takes courage to commit suicide and it takes even more courage to live life to its fullest that makes him stronger then he realized God Bless Jay.

  2. Although I have never met you I saw you play outstanding. Never give up on life Jesus will never give up on you never give up on him. I myself am going threw but that's just what it is going threw remember this to shall pass.

    May God Bless You


  3. Was sorry to see his career end so quickly. Let us hope he keeps it together. Good fortune.

  4. Did not have a good pro career at all. Had to be one of the sorriest player to ever grace the hardwood floors.

  5. As a bulls fan we were so happy to have jay William on our team. It was more important to have him in good health and to recover from such a life changing accident. I am glad he has overcame he sadness of life. Not to many people could go thought what he went thought and be able to talk about it so open. Be bless and keep Jesus first and he will lead you to the Father safely.

  6. I could see the unhappiness in his face some years back and felt for him. I always wanted to see him recover from that. Even the last time I saw him I looked for signs that he had become happy and it looks as though he has gotten life together. Happy for this young man.

  7. I have never been a Duke fan, and therefore never a Jay Williams fan. After seeing the job he does as an analyst and reading this story, I am very impressed by the young man. It takes a lot to come back from an injury like that and keep yourself relevant in the sport. Although he's not playing, he does a great job as an analyst. I can imagine that it still bothers him when he see's a lot of players playing in the league that couldn't hold a candle up to him. Hang in there Jay.

  8. Jay Williams is coming to my job BOFA on 2/27/2013. I will miss it:( I'm having surgery we are both from Plainfield, NJ~his mom is the best and i know she will always be by his side-no matter what continue to keep your head up and be the best you can be.