Jai Williams, from PET, was St. Joe's first commitment in the 2013 class. Now a freshman on Hawk Hill, Williams has come a long way in the last year and still has lots of room for growth and improvement.
During his senior season at PET, Jai missed eight games with a foot injury. It's an injury that has lingered for the big fellow. "Jai's still working his way back from injury to his foot that kept him out the latter part of his senior year and most of the summer," St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda told Hawk Hill Hardwood.
As a senior, Williams averaged 10.2 points per game for PET in a shortened season. During his junior year, he averaged 10.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks for PET head coach Mark Lewis.
Williams has practiced on-and-off with the team over the past few weeks. When I attended practice two weeks ago, he was on the floor and active. Jai also appeared to be in significantly better physical shape, shedding some weight. Getting himself in prime physical shape will do wonders for the big-bodied post player.
At the moment, Jai is "still finding his way each day," according to Coach Duda. It has been rumored that Williams will take a redshirt year this season, and that would make sense, as Ron Roberts, Halil Kanacevic, Javon Baumann, and Isaiah Miles would appear to be ahead of him on the depth chart this year. The school has not released anything official on that yet though.
When Jai Williams laces them up for the Hawks in a game, whether it's this season or next, the frontcourt will be getting a space-eating, back-to-the-basket, growing big man. Jai shows flashes here and there that remind you why he was recruited by a number of city schools and a handful of Atlantic 10 programs.
Still young for his grade, he has room for growth. During his short stint on Hawk Hill to date, Williams has already gotten himself into significantly better shape. Where his game goes from here remains to be seen.
Player Profile: Jai Williams
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