Meet Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams has much more of a superstar’s story compared to most participating in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest. Williams had originally decided to play for the highly-touted program at USC, but was swayed by first-year coach Sean Miller to attend the University of Arizona. The decision proved to give the future superstar the tools he needed to make an impact in the NCAA.
Derrick Williams’ first season averaged 15.7 points-per-game and he was named PAC-10 Freshman of the Year and team co-MVP. It was his second year that would put him ultimately over the top on a national scale.
Williams flourished in his sophomore season, averaging 19.5 points-per-game and 8.3 rebounds per game. He led his Arizona teammates to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Basketball Tournament in dramatic fashion. Williams blocked a potential game-winner against Memphis in the 2nd round, cashed in on a jumper and freethrow 3-point-play that took Arizona’s 3rd round game against Texas, and scored 32 points and 13 rebounds against the #1 ranked Duke in a game Arizona won by a resounding 16-point margin. Arizona eventually lost their next game by two points to the eventual champions, Conneticut.
The success of Derrick Williams’ sophomore year pursuaded him to declare himself eligible for the 2011 NBA draft, and he was consequently taken 2nd overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Williams is currently in his rookie season with the T-wolves, and is averaging 7.3 points-per-game and 4.2 rebounds- per-game while shooting a stellar 43.8% from the field. Despite being one of the youngest players involved in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest, he clearly has some of the highest star power the NBA has seen in a while. You can learn more about Derrick Williams here.