Recruitment Update: Jalen Williams
Perry High and Blue Chip Nation Elite’s 6-foot-4 2019 guard Jalen Williams is one of the hotter recruited prospects in the state as of right now. With multiple offers from schools such as Santa Clara, San Diego, UC-Santa Barbara, Hofstra, Portland State, Saint Mary's (CA) and Nevada, that list is expected to grow even longer after the month of July.
Jalen had one of the better showings in June in the state, playing summer ball for Head Coach Sam Duane Jr. and the Perry Pumas. He welcomed in one of the top incoming freshman in America in 6-foot-10 power forward Dylan Anderson and did so with open arms. According to Anderson, Jalen has helped him a lot with building his confidence and determination on the court, as they frequently talk in a team group text. Oh, and apparently Williams is a big goof.
You would be hard pressed to ever find someone to say something negative about Jalen Williams. What is there to say? He plays too hard? He practices and works too hard? He’s too nice? Heading into his senior year, you will shock nobody by predicting Jalen will be the consummate teammate and locker room leader at the next level.
It is most of these qualities that have college programs clamoring at the opportunity to sign him and bring him into their program. However, when that time comes it will have to be the right fit. Williams is looking for a place to call home for the next four years. A place that he can mesh with the team and coaching staff as well as he meshes with everybody at Perry High. He wants to be able to contribute as a freshman and help the team improve from the year before. He is high on the academic side of things as well. He wants to make sure he is receiving a quality education through the game of basketball because “the ball stops bouncing for everyone one day,” in Williams words.
When you talk to him sometimes it is very hard to wrap your head around the fact that you are talking to a 17-year old kid that loves nothing more than to play basketball or video games. He is not your atypical kid. He knows what he wants out of life at a young age while still not forgetting how to just be one of the guys amongst his peers.
Williams said of his decision of whatever school he may choose to attend, “I want to go to a school where I can grow, not just as a player, but as a man. I want to go somewhere where I feel wanted by the coaching staff and be coached while helping me improve as a player every day. The school environment is important to me because college is a new experience and I would love to meet people and create bonds with them that could last a life time.”
Yeah, I was like how you probably are after reading that. “Did someone help you with those answers?” was my reply to him after hearing that. His response: “It was straight off the dome, Vargas.”
Williams led his team it what might have been the most competitive summer high school event in Arizona, the Monarch Sports Prime Time tournament hosted by Marc Beasley. He would put Perry on his back and carry them to a championship in a loaded playing field that they went undefeated in. In the first two summer events Perry played in they ripped off a 7-game winning streak against some of the state’s top talent. Oh, and Jalen dropped 45 points in that championship game against Pinnacle in what might just be a preview of the 2018-19 state championship game. Though the next one will have this red-headed kid that can play a little ball (Nico Mannion, in case that somehow went over your head). But while most might want to see that game without the nationally ranked prospect in uniform, Jalen welcomes challenges like that. The game means more to him.
When Williams wasn’t helping his team rack up W’s in June, he was out on unofficial visits to various schools. Five of them to be exact. The schools were Santa Clara, San Diego, UC-Santa Barbara, Colorado State and Northern Colorado. Williams took something positive out of every one of them.
Santa Clara: The biggest thing I appreciated about that school is their resources and the area they are in (Silicon Valley). Their coaching staff has been great, and their educational and basketball resources is a great benefit.
San Diego: Very nice facilities and campus and the structure layout is amazing.
UC-Santa Barbara: Their player development and style of play fits me. The seem to put people in a position to be the best player they can be.
Colorado State: They have a great coaching staff and NBA ties.
Colorado: It’s a PAC-12 school, so that speaks for itself. Everything over there is pretty top notch.
While those are the schools that Jalen was able to visit last month, that offer list is expected to grow drastically in July. The number of offers could easily double and range in level of play.
As of right now, he is surveying his options and waiting for that offer list to settle in a little bit. He wants to enjoy his last July live period of AAU basketball while playing with Head Coach Paul Suber and Blue Chip Nation Elite and continue to evaluate all his options with his family.
However, he says if he gets that gut feeling that the fit is right and that he has found the school for him on and off the court and the college checks all the boxes he wants it to, then why wait? He would commit to that school and feel comfortable in his decision.
He puts that time table more on the September side of things, which means there is a possibility that he will play his senior season as a commit to a 4-year Division-I university and program.
One things is for sure and two things are for certain; I am a Jalen Williams fan and I am rooting for him and crossing my fingers he makes a decision that leads to big success at the next level and his next journey in life.