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PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

Jalen Williams: The Red Carpet Interview

Boardroom got the inside story from the Santa Clara phenom shortly before he was selected No. 12 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Wearing a Gucci-inspired navy pinstriped suit, Jalen Williams became the first player from Santa Clara selected in the NBA Draft since Steve Nash in 1996 when the Oklahoma City Thunder picked him up with the 12th overall pick. Paired with a Hublot watch and a Santa Clara pin, Williams spoke with Boardroom just before the start of the draft about his goals for his rookie season, the advice Nash gave him during the pre-draft process, and the company in which he’d most like to invest once he starts cashing NBA checks.

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What he would be doing if not for basketball:

Man, tough question. Probably sports analytics or something in that field.

A song that would describe his feeling on the red carpet on Draft Day:

“Let’s Get It Started” by The Black Eyed Peas.

His biggest goal for his rookie season:

Just to see how good I can get, constantly improve. I think this is a huge jump for everybody, so just being able to evolve and grow with the league.

What he’s doing with the first $1 million he earns:

I’m going to try and save it. You never know what could happen in this life, but probably look out for my parents a little bit and honestly just save a lot of it. There will be clothes bought as well. LeagueFits.

How he feels about repping the smaller schools out there:

I think it’s definitely growing. A lot of mid-majors are starting to come up. If you can hoop, they’ll find you.

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What his conversation with Steve Nash was like:

At the combine, I actually had an interview with Brooklyn. So that was really cool to see. And then I had an interview with the Lakers and Kurt Rambis, who also went to Santa Clara. So that was a really dope experience. Nash just said [to] enjoy the process and we just kind of chopped it up because he’s obviously the last person to come into the league since then.

When he first thought he could make the NBA:

I always had that belief growing up. It’s just how I was raised, if you put your mind to it then you can do it. But honestly, this past March, when I had to sign the early entry declaration, it was real to me.

If he could dunk on one NBA player, whom would it be?

LeBron. I feel like that’s everybody’s answer or pretty close to it.

If he could invest in just one company:

Apple or Disney. I feel like they’re always innovating or doing something, and they’re the big dogs.

If he could only choose one streaming service to use:

Probably Netflix right now, but it’s looking bleak. It might be Hulu [laughs].

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