Forever a champion: Jay Williams’ Rising Stars becoming his true legacy

I will forever associate the month of March with Jason Williams circa 2001, the mercurial Duke guard with a gunslinger’s swagger to go with his incredible talent, limitless potential and unparalleled work ethic.

And when he sits back and recalls his history with the best time of the year in college hoops, it puts him back in game mode.

“A couple weeks ago, I literally got chills,” Williams said Saturday night. “I got chills. It’s always like that. It’s always this time of the year that makes me the most excited.”

Nine years later, March is still Jay Williams’ time. Williams has transitioned into an excellent analyst for ESPN’s college basketball telecasts; his superior court vision now allows him to break down the action better than most could, and he works just as hard at that as he did on his three-point shot.

And in what comes as no surprise to those of us who got to know him at Duke and who came to recognize him as a total class act, Williams is using his notoriety and networking ability to help give at-risk youth opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have.

Continue Reading

Eyes on the prize: Affable Sterger focuses on the brass ring

Sterger on the left, Mike from Foley's in the middle, Jay-Will on the right

While helping to lend some support to Jay Williams’ Rising Stars charity event on Saturday night, Jennifer Sterger – the host of the upcoming sports show The Daily Line on Versus – often found herself the center of attention, something she’s grown accustomed to. But it wasn’t entirely for the reason you probably think it was.

Continue Reading

St. Pat’s Gilchrist’s scare a reminder of what prep stars have at stake

As Gilchrist was helped off the court, Irving looked on with concern

It’s not every year the No. 1 high school basketball team in the country plays in your home state, but that’s exactly what I’ve got right now with St. Patrick of Elizabeth, N.J. As such, I went to see them play Union at Kean University on Tuesday night, my first Celtics game in a couple of years but surely not my last this season.

As if seeing the highest-ranked team in America wasn’t enough incentive, I also wanted to check out point guard Kyrie Irving, who’s headed for Duke (my alma mater) next season. In addition, St. Pat’s has forward Michael Gilchrist, arguably the best player in the country as a junior, who’s rumored to be headed for Kentucky or Villanova. Gilchrist and Irving are the big names, but Western Kentucky commit Derrick Gordon’s defense was tenacious and solid.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a very long look at Gilchrist. I got to Kean midway through the first quarter, and just a few minutes after I showed up, he collided with a Union player under the basket on a baseline drive and went down in a heap, clutching his knee. He couldn’t put weight on it and had to be helped out of the arena by teammates before halftime.

Continue Reading

Rearview mirror: The coolest, and un-coolest, athletes of the 2000’s

Top: Coolest.  Bottom: Least coolest. (Like I have to tell you) Note Reggie in bottom left holding hands with a referee

Another set of lists as part of our friends at Trumbull Island’s Year/Decade-ending Top 10 list hysteria. Here are the Top 10 coolest athletes of the decade, and the Top 10 least coolest athletes. I’m sure I’m missing some, but I think it’s a pretty good primer. I think you’ll see Nas is generally a good barometer here. Feel free to let me know some other guys I missed.

Continue Reading