North Texas Daily

Academics and fatherhood teach Williams life lessons

Academics and fatherhood teach Williams life lessons

Academics and fatherhood teach Williams life lessons
January 23
09:32 2014

Faye Darku // Intern Writer

It all started with a dunk at Larry Johnson Recreation Center in Dallas, Texas where then-seventh grader Jordan Williams realized his basketball talent. Ever since that day he has kept on dunking.

Although the skill was there from the start, the Mean Green junior guard didn’t take basketball seriously until his sophomore year at Justin F. Kimball High School. He became aware of how the game could take him places and teach him the discipline to become a better person, lessons he will one day share with his seven-month-old son.

“My sophomore year of high school is when I started to really take basketball seriously and realized that it was my calling,” Williams said. “It’s when I realized that I could become a really good player and started hitting all my shots.”

Williams has spent all three years of his college basketball career playing for UNT, but academics cut his first season short. During his freshman year, Williams focused more on having a good time outside of school than studying, which ultimately proved costly.

Williams was ruled academically ineligible his freshman year and was unable to play the spring semester of the 2010-2011 season. Watching his teammates play from the sideline motivated him to avoid that position in the future. Since then, he has been more focused on school.

“I know my academics are very serious. Nothing is going to be handed to me. I have to go and do things myself,” Williams said. “I’ve gained some study habits and I’m now more prepared. I have to stop procrastinating and just do it before it’s due.”

The next hit of reality came a year and a half ago, when Williams realized he was going to be a father. Sorting out his life has been difficult with the arrival of Jaydence Williams.

As an athlete who spends plenty of time on the road and away from Jaydence, who is currently in Austin with his mom, the times Williams gets to spend with him are the memories he holds on to while he’s away.

“It’s very hard balancing being a dad and an athlete because I don’t get to see him very often because I travel a lot,” Williams said. “He’s definitely motivation for me… everything I do now is for him.”

The anticipation of having a child was a roller coaster of emotions for Williams. He exchanged his late nights with friends for changing diapers and waking up at early hours, but once Williams got settled with the idea of being a father he was ready for it.

“It’s something that you have to go through yourself to truly understand I can’t really explain it,” Williams said. “I just had to man up and take care of my son, do everything for him, and make sure that he has stuff that I didn’t have when I was younger.”

Williams spends much of his free time nowadays going to see his younger brother and son, since he is in Denton most of the year now.

“Of course he’s going to be a future basketball player but I’m not going to pressure him into it,” Williams said. “Whatever makes him happy is good with me but I really enjoy seeing someone just like me growing up. He’s already crawling and I’m a proud dad for that.”

Williams has set himself as one of the top offensive options for UNT. He’s second on the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game, as well as 6.2 rebounds per game, and his teammates feed off of his energy and passion throughout the game.

“Jordan and I are really close and he’s really important to the team,” junior guard Chris jones said. “ I call him the highlight man. He always dunking and making shots.”

Junior guard Jordan Williams slam dunks the ball during a home game against Northwood  University on Nov. 8, 2013. Photo by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor

Junior guard Jordan Williams slam dunks the ball during a home game against Northwood University on Nov. 8, 2013. Photo by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor

Williams’ leadership is also a great trait that helps out not only on the court but in the locker room as well.

“He’s a good leader. If you need help he’s the guy to go to,” junior guard T.J. Taylor said.

Although he didn’t start off the season as strongly as he would have liked, Williams is looking forward to picking things up and spending time at the gym.

“It’s been going very well,” Williams said. “I think I started things out pretty slow, but after the New Year I’ve been playing pretty well.”

Feature photo: Junior guard Jordan Williams at the Super Pit before practice on Monday afternoon. Williams Recorded his 800th career point in the win at Texas A&M. Photo by Margaret Saucedo / Staff Photographer 

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