Williams Declares for NBA Draft
STANFORD, Calif. – One of the most versatile and dynamic swingmen in the country, freshman Ziaire Williams has elected to enter the 2021 NBA Draft. He announced the decision in a letter to the Stanford community.
The highest-rated recruit in program history, Williams was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 Freshman Team selection despite missing six conference games. Capable of defending multiple positions, the 6-8 forward averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game this season.
"We are excited for Ziaire to take the next step and whole heartedly support his decision to enter his name in the NBA Draft," said Jerod Haase, The Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball. "Ziaire gave his heart and soul to the coaching staff, to his teammates, and to the classroom. He had outstanding moments on and off the court, in what we all know was an extremely challenging year."
Williams was a top-10 finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year award, and was one of a select group of freshmen honored on both the Naismith and Wooden Trophy watch lists. After posting the program's second-ever triple-double against Washington on Jan. 7, Williams was named the Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week on Jan. 11, which goes along with the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor he earned on Dec. 21. He was one of 18 players nationally to post a triple-double this season.
"Ziaire's experience at Stanford was certainly not a typical college experience, and the difficulties that he dealt with were extraordinary. But, there is no doubt that the adversity he faced will help his future - both on the court and off," continued Haase. "He intends to continue his education at Stanford, and we know how important that is to him. We are so excited for what his future holds and will have his back as he continues his journey. Ziaire will always be a part of this program."
Leaving his mark on the program, Williams ranks eighth all-time at Stanford in points per game by a freshman (10.7) and sixth in free throw percentage (79.6). His debut of 19 points against Alabama, which remains the highest-rated win for any Pac-12 program in 2020-21, was the most for a Cardinal player in their first game since 1977 and the second-most all-time.
Stanford has had 12 first round picks in program history, the last coming with Josh Huestis in 2014 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Tyrell Terry (Dallas Mavericks) and KZ Okpala (Miami Heat) were second round selections in the last two drafts. The Cardinal has had 41 total draftees, while 33 Stanford athletes have played in the NBA. Josh Childress remains the highest-drafted player in program history as the sixth selection in the 2004 Draft.
The 2021 NBA Draft will be held on July 29.