Mr. Jay Williams: Get Well and Play Some Chess!

Those who follow professional basketball in the U.S. will have heard of the tragic accident involving point guard Jason "Jay" Williams.  An All-American out of Duke University, Williams was heralded to be one of the cornerstones to the Chicago Bulls' resurgence to playoff contention. However, on the evening of June 19th, Williams suffered career-threatening injuries after crashing his week-old motorcycle.

The list of injuries is extensive: cracked pelvis (with nerve damage), broken left leg (in two places), torn alterior cruciate ligament in left knee, and a broken left ankle.  These injuries are indeed serious, but at age 21, Williams is only projected to miss one year. However, the Bulls have prepared for the worst. The question remains… will he regain his cat quickness which leaves defenders with twisted ankles? The rehabilitation will be long and arduous.

Bulls' Jay Williams

So what is Williams to do while he is immobile in his hospital bed? He could watch ESPN sports, Discover Channel, or any number of his favorite programs. However, the perfect activity for him may simply be… to play some chess! If he doesn't know how, somebody teach him!

Chess is a sport that allows one to put one's worries behind and to exert one's maximum competitive energy. With Jay Williams' competitive fire, he will be able to take his frustrations out on some poor hospital visitor and derive some joy out of making his opponent curse himself… like he did on the basketball court.

The only child of David and Althea Williams, Jay will get tons of support from family, friends, players, fans and other well wishers. However, the success of his rehabilitation will be a result of how much internal will he has to come back. Another aspect of chess is that it allows one to focus on life as it is played out on 64 squares. Perhaps in playing chess, Williams may gain insight to questions about his own life. Get well Jay!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 26 June 2003