North Texas Daily

Senior guard Williams gaining accolades

Senior guard Williams gaining accolades

Senior guard Williams gaining accolades
February 02
23:38 2015

Rceece Waddell / Staff Writer

According to the NCAA, more than 18,000 athletes compete in men’s basketball annually. Of those 18,000, only 46 were drafted to the NBA this past spring. Many of those athletes only stay in college for one year.

But Mean Green guard Jordan Williams has been in Denton for four years to get an education, while still leaving his mark on the program.

His latest accomplishment came in North Texas’ 73-66 home win over Louisiana Tech University on Jan. 22, when Williams passed Leonard Hopkins to move into 10th on the program’s all-time scoring list. Williams said his latest feat is a product of hard work over four years.

“These accomplishments make me want to work harder and get better,” Williams said. “Every day it motivates me to work harder.”

Williams leads Conference USA in minutes played at 39.4 minutes per game. Even on days after he has played the entire game, Williams is still on the practice court.

“[Jordan] is the kind of guy every coach wishes he had,” head coach Tony Benford said. “He’s only missed one practice since I’ve been here and he’s never missed a game. Even when he’s tired after playing 40 minutes, he goes out there and competes. A real hard-nosed guy.”

Benford has coached Williams three of the four years he has been here, and said he can see Williams’ development.

“Jordan is an everyday guy,” Benford said. “He’s been a four-year starter and does everything you ask him to. He’s extremely versatile and has really developed into a complete player that can succeed at the next level.”

Since Williams’ freshman year, his points, rebounds and assists have all improved. Benford said  he believes Williams’ eagerness to learn has made him extremely easy to coach.

“He’ll do just about anything you ask him to do,” Benford said.

Williams intends on declaring for the NBA draft this spring, and Benford said Williams’ versatility will give him a chance to play at the next level.

“We recruit the versatility, guys that can dribble, shoot and pass. Just being able to do that has helped Jordan’s game. I definitely believe he will be playing pro ball somewhere this time next year,” Benford said.

Benford and Williams have become close during Benford’s three seasons as the head coach, and Williams said the coach has had a big impact on him not only on the court, but off of it as well.

“A lot of people have impacted my game, but coach Benford, man he’s impacted my life,” said Williams. “We’ve been through the same stuff and he’s taught me how to handle certain things.”

Williams is also the father to a baby boy, and said Benford gave him advice on that process as well.

“Coach Benford and I have been through the same things with having a son. He gave me a few books to read and I’m going to teach him the right way to do things,” said Williams.

Along with juggling basketball and his son, Williams is succeeding in the classroom and is on track to get his degree in applied arts and sciences this spring. Williams said he is fortunate for the opportunity to be able to graduate.

“It’s a blessing to get to college,” Williams said. “To be able to get my degree for me and my family, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Williams’ teammate, senior forward Colin Voss, said he and Williams do a good job of working together and are leaders on the team.

“Jordan and I are extremely close.” Voss said “We always want to push each other and get better. If we see the other person loafing in practice, we have no problem going up to one another and saying ‘Hey, pick it up.’”

Despite this being his last season filled with records and aspirations, Williams said his sole focuses are on his team and earning his degree. He said while the accolades are nice, he really only wants one thing.

“I just want to win games, man.”

Featured Image: Senior guard Jordan Williams makes a mad dash toward the hoop past a Louisiana Tech University defender on Jan. 22. Williams scored 16 points. Photo by Ryan Vance – Senior Staff Photographer

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