GREENSBORO, N.C. – Duke star Jason Williams, catalyst of Duke’s 2001 national championship run and a two-time National Player of the Year, was honored Thursday as part of the 2016 class of ACC Basketball Legends presented by New York Life.
The Legends will be recognized during the 2016 New York Life ACC Tournament, which will be held March 8-12 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. They will be featured at the annual ACC Legends Luncheon, which will be held Friday, March 11, at noon at the Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel. The group will also be introduced to the Verizon Center crowd during halftime of the tournament’s first semifinal game on March 11.
The 2016 ACC Legends Class
Jim Hooley, Boston College
Grayson Marshall, Clemson
Jason Williams, Duke
Rowland Garrett, Florida State
BJ Elder, Georgia Tech
Darrell Griffith, Louisville
John Salmons, Miami
James Worthy, North Carolina
Anthony “Spud” Webb, NC State
Adrian Dantley, Notre Dame
Charles Smith, Pittsburgh
Derrick Coleman, Syracuse
Norman Nolan, Virginia
Howard Pardue, Virginia Tech
Dave Odom, Wake Forest
Entering Duke prior to the 1999-00 season as a McDonald’s All-American and winner of the Morgan Wootten Award as the nation’s top prep player, Williams established himself as a member of Duke’s starting lineup from the opening game of his career and ended his first season with the Blue Devils as The Sporting News National Freshman of the Year.
Williams averaged 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game as a freshman, sparking Duke to a 29-5 record, including a 15-1 record in conference play, and a sweep of the ACC regular-season and tournament championships. In addition to being named National Freshman of the Year, Williams also claimed ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player, Basketball Times first-team Freshman All-America and Associated Press ACC All-Freshman Team honors.
The Plainfield, N.J., native took the college basketball world by storm as a sophomore in 2000-01, helping lead Duke to its third national championship en route to being recognized as the National Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). He was named a consensus first-team All-American and a finalist for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, as well as earning unanimous first-team All-ACC and All-Final Four Team accolades.
Williams averaged 21.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game in 2000-01, leading Duke to a 35-4 record, a second consecutive ACC Tournament title and a share of the ACC regular-season crown. The 841 points he scored as a sophomore continue to rank second on Duke’s single-season scoring chart.
The accolades continued to mount for Williams in 2001-02, his third and final season at Duke. After averaging 21.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game, he received both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy as National Player of the Year and was also named NPOY by the Associated Press, Basketball Times, the NABC, The Sporting News and the United States Basketball Writers Association, among various other publications.
Williams was a consensus first-team All-American and a first-team All-ACC selection after pacing Duke to a 31-4 record and the fourth ACC Tournament championship in a run that would eventually reach five in a row.
A starter in all 108 games he played for Duke, Williams finished his collegiate career with 2,079 points, 644 assists, 313 three-point field goals and 235 steals before being taken second overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA Draft. He was 95-13 in a Duke uniform for an .880 winning percentage that ranks second in program history among players with 100 starts.
He currently ranks second in Duke history in assist average (6.0) and steals average (2.2), third in three-point field goals made (313), fourth in assists (644), sixth in steals (235), seventh in scoring average (19.3) and eighth in scoring (2,079).
In addition to his basketball prowess, Williams graduated from Duke in just three years with a degree in sociology. He is currently one of the lead analysts on ESPN’s coverage of college basketball and a fixture on the network’s popular College GameDay program.
Ticket information for the ACC Legends Luncheon is available at theACC.com.#GoDuke