How many WNBA players have coached in the NBA?
Becky Hammon became the first in 2014.
Following a summer in which she claimed gold with Team USA at the U17 World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary, Jada Williams caught up with Whistle Sports on the latest episode of “No Days Off,” which was released Tuesday.
The energetic 17-year-old discussed her experience with Team USA, including the moment she discovered she made the team and what the platform means to her to represent her country.
“I’m protesting a lot. I want change in America,” Williams said. “I’m playing on this platform. I’m putting on for what I want the country to look like, what my people want the country to look like. We’re sitting up there thinking we can change the world. We can make this a good country.”
Williams was joined on Team USA by fellow La Jolla Country Day School (Calif.) teammate Breya Cunningham, both of whom are committed to the University of Arizona after Williams flipped from her decision to join UCLA on Aug. 1.
As a junior in 2021-22, Williams averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game for the Torreys. She’s currently the class of 2023’s No. 15 overall recruit in Just Women Sports’ latest high school basketball recruiting rankings.
“She can play point. She can shoot the ball well if she needs to just be a spot-up shooter,” said pro basketball skills trainer Justin Razooky, who’s also featured in the episode doing drills with Williams. “She can play defense. She takes charges. She dives for loose balls, so she’s like an ideal player.”
The episode also includes a segment where Williams is training with Dorian Crawford, owner of D.C. Athletics. Crawford works with Williams to improve her speed, strength and mobility.
“She’s not a diva. She puts in the work,” Crawford said. “All I’ve got to do is just sharpen her tools up.”
Williams also talks about receiving surprise visits from LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, the latter of which occurred when she was on a visit to UCLA prior to the NBA superstar’s tragic death in 2020.
“People actually like who I am, so I just made sure I was who I am to social media so I didn’t have to go out in public and act like somebody I’m not,” Williams said. “All my followers and supporters were like, ‘Oh my god, she’s real. She talks the same as everybody else does. She dances on TikTok the same way everybody else does.’
“I think being real is something that made it easier for me to be able to mentor people because I’m not putting on a front. This is actually who I am.”
As she enters her final varsity season this winter, Williams is preparing for the next level by getting stronger, making sure she knows how to use her body as a small guard, ensuring her efficiency beyond the arc, understanding how to create ways to get open, fine-tuning the little things and learning how to play down low against bigger competition.
“The advice I would give to the younger hoopers that are trying to get to a platform that I’m on, I would definitely say to use your platform for things that you believe in,” Williams said. “Don’t try to be somebody that you’re not because it’s going to drain you out and stress you.
“I would definitely say if you don’t believe in yourself, then no one’s going to believe in you for you, so make sure that you are doing things that are going to help you get to where you want to go. Don’t let anyone tell you what your dreams are. Be able to smile and have fun. You’re going to have good days and bad days, but make sure at the end that you’re being you.”
Trent Singer is the High School Editor at Just Women’s Sports. Follow him on Twitter @trentsinger.
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