US basketball

‘Practice, practice’: Jason Williams dishes out tips to Kai Sotto, PH hoop fans

Martin Mendoza

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‘Practice, practice’: Jason Williams dishes out tips to Kai Sotto, PH hoop fans

RETURN TRIP. Former NBA champion Jason Williams visits the Philippines for the second time.

MARTIN MENDOZA/RAPPLER

Known for his electrifying streetball style of play, former NBA star Jason Williams says there was no secret behind his flashy passes and crafty ball handling as it’s simply all about honing his own skills

MANILA, Philippines – Keep practicing. 

That’s what former NBA star Jason Williams advised to young and aspiring Filipino basketball players as he is back in town to headline the 10th edition of the NBA 3X Philippines on March 25 and 26 at the Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City.

Known for his electrifying streetball style of play, Williams, who is dubbed the “White Chocolate,” said there was no secret behind his flashy passes and crafty ball handling during his 12-year NBA career as it’s simply all about honing his own skills. 

“You got to practice, practice, and practice. The things that I did took a lot of practice to learn. It’s not like I would just do it,” Williams told Rappler during a meet-and-greet session at the NBA Store in SM Megamall on Friday, March 24.

“I practice passing behind my back just like probably Steph Curry does shooting his jump shots,” he continued. 

Williams, who had stops with the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, and Miami Heat, where he won his lone NBA title in 2006 with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Dwayne Wade, also chimed in on how our very own NBA prospect Kai Sotto can revive his NBA dream after going unselected in the 2022 NBA Draft.

After a two-year stint with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League in Australia, the 7-foot-3 Sotto is now making waves for the Hiroshima Dragonflies in the Japan B. League. 

“I think he just needs to play the game the right way. He probably needs to be able to shoot pretty well, play defense, and block shots,” said Williams of Sotto. 

“I think a lot of kids forget about blocking shots and playing defense. Those guys get paid money too. Teams need those guys in the NBA as well, it’s not all about scoring,” he added.

This is Williams’ second visit to the Philippines after seeing action in an exhibition game with fellow NBA legend Scottie Pippen and former PBA players at the Mall of Asia Arena back in 2012.

The 47-year-old Williams, who holds career averages of 10.5 points, 5.9 assists, and 1.2 steals, will be joined by the Clutch City Dancers of the Houston Rockets in the two-day NBA 3X tournament, which consists of under-19 and open division for both boys and girls, as well as a celebrity division featuring local sports personalities. 

“My stay in the Philippines has been fantastic, man. It’s good to be back here,” said Williams.

“I’m excited to see what kind of basketball the Filipinos have to offer. I think it’s going to be fun and I can’t wait.” – Rappler.com

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