He also speaks out about corruption--among coaches, administrators, players, and alumni--and about his time in the NBA, introducing us to a dark underworld culture in the pros: the gambling, drugs, and sex in every city, with players on every team. Back cover copy As a kid, Jay Williams pretended he was making the game-winning shot while playing basketball in his backyard. He kept right on making shots until he became an NCAA champion and two-time national player of the year at Duke, and the second overall NBA draft pick in But after just one season with the Chicago Bulls, Williams's basketball playing career ended after a horrific motorcycle accident.
In an instant, the man with as fast a first step as any point guard in the history of basketball could no longer do anything for himself, including walk. In Life Is Not an Accident, Jay Williams shares his story of being a young man trying to wrest control of his life from his overinvolved parents, from the pleasures and perils of fame and money, and from the near-fatal mistake that threatened to define him.
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After a decade spent recovering from his injuries, Williams recounts with a rare honesty his hard-fought path to college basketball stardom and the painful lessons he's learned. Now in his thirties, Jay Williams is convinced that the crash that almost killed him at twenty-one was no accident, but a tragedy that taught him how to live. Review quote "From a freakish motorcycle accident that derailed his destiny to overcoming the residue from it that left a severe mental and emotional stain, Jay's story is about strength, resilience, and redemption.
Life Is Not an Accident is a surprisingly honest and revealing account that will inspire and resonate with all. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X.
Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter. Sign up now. Follow us. The Corvette always made me feel like a year-old man trying to recapture his youth, so I decided to take my motorcycle out instead. It was a black Yamaha R6 with red accents. I had seen photos of Michael Jordan riding all kinds of exotic motorcycles as a player and remember thinking how badass he looked.
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- ‘Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention,’ by Jay Williams - etavuleqyz.cf?
I would be lying if I said no one warned me about motorcycles. They did. But the more everyone told me I shouldn't be riding a bike, the more I wanted to ride. We all know how that works. I had worked hard to become an NCAA champion, a two-time national player of the year, and the second pick of the draft, and yet I had this team of people around me always telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing. I wanted -- no, I needed -- to make my own decisions, to have some control over my own life. The Yamaha R6 symbolized that for me. But I was that prototypical young hotshot who thought he had all the answers.
For starters, I had never taken a single riding class. Motorcycle license? What for? Money and arrogance were all I needed. I walked into the first and only bike shop I'd ever been in, saw the R6, and bought it on the spot. And that was that. I started hanging around bike shops, buying gear. Eventually I met a group of guys who liked riding at high speeds late at night, when there were fewer cars on the road.
I kept riding with them until one night, one guy I barely knew lost control of his bike and crashed. He was ahead of me on the right going about 90 miles an hour.
His front wheel started to wobble and he lost control. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen. The bike flipped, and his body flew for what seemed like forever. When he finally landed, he hit the highway like a rock being skipped across a pond. All of us stopped immediately to barricade the accident area from other vehicles. As I approached him, there was blood everywhere and his body looked torn apart.
He ended up only suffering a few broken bones, but it was enough to scare me from ever riding at those speeds again, though not enough to give it up entirely. I couldn't; it meant too much to me. The meeting with Kevin was only a couple of miles away, so I instinctively grabbed the keys to the bike. I didn't bother grabbing my helmet, since it was a gorgeous day out and I wanted to feel the sun on my face. At the end of our session, Kevin asked me what else I had planned for the day, and I told him, "I have no clue. Just headed home and maybe another workout. A few minutes later, I was bleeding to death.
There weren't a lot of people around when I was driving away, but I revved my engine anyway. Kevin was still standing in the doorway watching, and I wanted to make sure that he heard my new exhaust.
Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention (Audiobook) - etavuleqyz.cf
As I coasted down the street, I revved the bike twice -- the second time louder than the first. Then, in the middle of my third rev, I heard a click-click sound and the bike popped up and shot off. My first thought was that the gears had slipped and I had to control the situation. If I had just let go of the motorcycle, chances are I would've walked away with some bumps and bruises. Maybe a broken arm. But I held on. My hands were already on the handlebars; the front tire was in the air, and I was almost trying to wrestle it to the ground.
My grip tightened as I tried to hold on, and maybe that even revved the throttle a little more.
Jay Williams talks new book, owning mistakes, overcoming addiction and more
I must've accelerated by 20 miles an hour in a split second as the back wheel aggressively spun out of control, abruptly redirecting me to the right while forcing me to lean backwards, which was the last thing I wanted to do. I was terrified that I was going to slip off the back and have the bike fall directly on top of me. Looking back, that would've been a way better scenario.
But I leaned forward, looking down, trying to use all my weight to get the front wheel back down I couldn't tell you which pole I hit, but the crash sounded like two cars colliding head-on. I couldn't turn my body completely out of the way, so I ended up clipping my entire left side, which flung me into a horizontal spinning motion parallel to the ground. In those seconds, everything seemed to slow down. While in the air, I remember thinking, You've seen this before. You lived this before. And I had, incredibly, in a dream four years prior, a dream so strange it had stayed with me.
It was the night before the first game I ever played for Duke -- in Madison Square Garden, no less, at the Coaches vs. In the hotel, my teammates and I were separated from the rest of the world: it was our safe haven, where we could focus on the mission at hand. But I was too anxious to fall asleep. I was about to play Stanford in the Garden, the place I had dreamed of playing at since I was a little boy growing up in Plainfield, New Jersey, just 25 miles away. I was heading into my first game starting for a Hall of Fame coach who had just lost the national championship to UConn only seven months prior, in a game his team was expected to win.
I was about to play the biggest game of my life in the shadows of all the Duke greats. Finally, after hours and hours of tossing and turning, I dozed off. Soon I felt this magnificent, incredible breeze on my face. But I was getting dizzy. In the distance up ahead I saw something that I was going to crash into It was four fifteen in the morning. I sat up in my bed, thinking, What the hell was that?! The impact when I landed was immediate, like an anchor being dropped into water. I was face down. My chest was lying directly flat on the grassy area between the curb and the sidewalk; my legs lay outstretched on top of each other, almost disconnected from my body on the pavement at a degree angle.
My lower extremities were motionless as the curb pressed against my abdomen. I began screaming Kevin's name over and over again. I was in so much pain and unable to move, from my midsection down. I was certain that I was paralyzed. With my cheek flush against the grass, I could see Kevin running toward me. As he got closer, I remember his mouth opening wide in shock, almost in disbelief at what he was seeing.
All the color left his face as he stood over me, horrified. It looked as if someone had reached into his body and yanked out his soul. His expression was all the confirmation I needed about what I had done. I started crying and pounding my right fist against the grass while screaming, "I threw it all away!
I threw it all away! Kevin yelled for help while pulling out his cell phone to dial I started to feel the sensation of someone pouring a pitcher of scalding hot water from my pelvic area down to my feet.