Rising Stars teams and after school programs are a safe place to play, to learn, and to grow all while having fun. They are a place where great futures are created each and every day. Rising Stars teams and initiatives enable kids to realize their potential, prepare them for college, and offer ways for families to have fun together. They empower youth to be healthier in spirit, mind and body. Being a part of a Rising Stars team did all that for me and more.
I believe that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society. A strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, nurturing the potential of every child and teen. Young people need to know that someone cares about them.
In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision.
Rising Stars teams offered all of that to me and more. My experience with Rising Stars was both life changing and life enhancing. It all begins with wanting to make life better for young people in your community. It all starts with you! For more than a 30 years Rising Stars has helped put young people on the path to great futures.
Former standout point guard Jay Williams, roundly considered one of the most prolific college basketball players in history, works tirelessly with his charity of choice, Rising Stars, in inspiring children to be the best that they can be. Rising Stars is a national youth foundation that utilizes basketball to promote education and provide academic and financial assistance to students. Jay was a product of the Rising Stars youth foundation since 5th grade and credits the program with helping him stay on course "I have come back to work with Rising Stars because I see the need for positive programs to help guide children through life. Rising Stars is a special program for me and for every child that needs guidance in life". I have a story to tell that can help every child and Rising Stars provides the best vehicle I know for me to tell that story.
Jay joined Rising Stars as its CEO and Director of Special Events in 2006 to help others as the program helped him. Jay is an accomplished entrepreneur and highly sought after motivational spokesperson for executive conferences nationwide. He is working on a book and is also the President and Chairman of his own company, Jay LLC.
As a starter for three years at Duke, Williams won the Naismith College Player of the Year award, the John R. Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
Jay led Duke to a 95-13 (.880) record and the 2001 NCAA National Championship. He averaged double figures as a freshman, which helped earn him the ACC Rookie of the Year award in 2000 and recognition as a first-team All-America player.
In his sophomore season with the Blue Devils, Williams shattered several school and NCAA records. In 2002, Williams graduated from Duke with a bachelor's degree in sociology and business, becoming the first athlete at the university to earn a degree in just three years. At the final game in his junior year, Williams' No. 22 jersey was retired at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Jay Williams was drafted second by Chicago in the 2002 NBA Draft, just behind No. 1 pick Yao Ming, and started 54 of 75 games for the Bulls in the 2002-03 season. During his first season in the NBA, his most memorable performance was a game against his hometown team, the New Jersey Nets, during which Williams scored a triple-double. He also played for the U.S. National team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.
He is a member of the NBA Retired Players Association, a voting member of the John Wooden Awards Committee and sits on the board of USA Basketball Jay recently traveled to China to play with a USA team against China's teams in Beijing and Shanghai.
Jay currently works full time for ESPN.
Jay joined ESPN as a full-time analyst in 2008, after working for the network as a commentator in 2003 Jay Williams also blogs regularly for ESPN.com.
Before joining ESPN, Williams was an analyst in 2007 for CBS College Sports Network, primarily working the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.