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ESPN does amazing profile on former Wolfpacker CJ Williams

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We’ve covered CJ Williams pretty extensively on this site and before his 2-way contract ran out, he was the most interesting story in the NC State Universe. Now ESPN is starting to realize that.

Once a 3-star prospect out of Jack Britt HS in Fayetteville, Williams spent his first 3 seasons as a role player for the Wolfpack. By his senior year, he was evolving into a leader but still wasn’t on anybody’s radar to play in the NBA. In fact, Williams bounced around overseas and in the D-League until this season. Now at age 28, he finally got to live out his NBA dream.

Williams was picked up by the Clippers as a reserve on a 45-day, 2-way contract. Long story short, he ended up starting, being a major contributor to the Clippers and even delivering a game-winning buzzer beater against the Hawks.

Then his contract ran out.

The life of a 2-way NBA player is rough. Even if you produce, the team is still (usually) in no situation to sign you to a full-time contract. Meaning, you get sent back down to the G-League.

It’s an interesting dynamic that’s starting to play out more often in the NBA and ESPN is taking note. They recently examined the life of a 2-way player and profiled none-other than CJ Williams for their piece.

Williams discusses  how he got to the Clippers and what his mindset was during his tryouts.They then show a timeline of his journey. which we really advise you to check out.

There is a debate on if the 2-way contract helps or hurts these players and that is kind of a running narrative throughout this piece. Here is a take from Lawrence Frank (Director of Basketball Ops for the Clippers)

“Because of the two-way, not only has he helped us, he’s shown that he’s an NBA player. Without a two-way contract, who knows? Maybe no one would have known that C.J. Williams is an NBA-roster player. And this opportunity will be a game-changer and potentially a life-changer.”

For Wolfpack fans and really all college basketball fans, this is a feel-good story about a guy who never stopped dreaming. Goes to show what hard work coupled with true belief will get you.

Here is the summary of CJ’s interview…

 

CJ talks about his road to the NBA

  • Knew he’d get here, just didn’t know how
  • Agents laughed at my NBA dreams, said they didn’t think it was a good plan
  • Didn’t have the best college career, knows that.
  • Walked into Clippers facility and thought “You belong”. Wasn’t a G-Leaguer trying to make NBA, was an NBA guy getting a shot.
  • First time stepping on the court with the team, had to guard Lou Williams.
  • Tell young guys to not give up on the dream. Have to have the mentality of  “I’m not going to fail”
  • Told every agent I want to be in NBA. Only one agent said “Ok, let’s make a 5 year plan.” 5 years later, made the NBA. (That agent was former NC State player Jamie Knox.)

 

CJ talks about hitting his game-winner vs. the Hawks

  • No one knew my name in the NBA circles, then I hit the game winner.
  • Was cool to see my name on the NBA’s twitter page and Instagram
  • Amazing to look back at where I was to where I am now

 

CJ talks about crazy travel between G-League and NBA

  • Living out of a suitcase. Always have one ready
  • Tough stretch near Thanksgiving. Went all over the nation really fast. Hectic. 6am flights were tough on me
  • Keeps you tired and had to nap
  • It’s been a blessing. Glad for every moment.

 

CJ talks about the difference in playing in front of an NBA crowd

  • 20 people in stands for G-Leauge. It’s weird after playing in front of huge arena.
  • With technology, anyone can see you at any time. People can watch what you did.
  • Always have to work hard. A little tough and strange, but you find a way to do it if you’re a competitor.

 

Pack in the Pros

Bradley Chubb Breaks Broncos Rookie Sack Record

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Former NC State Consensus All-American Bradley Chubb picked up 2 sacks in Denver’s 20-14 loss to the 49ers today, bringing his season total to 12, breaking Von Miller’s Broncos rookie record (11.5 – 2011).

Sack #11

Sack #12

Here’s a survey of company he joined today, and the 6 players he is still has to pass to claim the NFL Rookie Sack record.

Not bad company to be keeping.

If you’re wondering if the record matters to Chubb, he does.

It’s on his bathroom mirror.

Watch out Mr. Kearse. Chubb is coming for you.

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Pack in the Pros

Nyheim Hines & Mike Glennon Wearing Cleats for Charity

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NFL players typically are fined for taking artistic liberties with their cleats, but over the next three weeks the league will allow players to wear special cleats to bring awareness to a charity of their choice.

It’s officially called the “My Cause My Cleats” Campaign.

Former NC State quarterback Mike Glennon and Wolfpack running back Nyheim Hines will be rocking some charitable swag the next three weeks.

Glennon will be supporting Project ALS and former N.C. State baseball star Chris Combs with the cleats below.

Hines will be raising awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association with the cleats below. His mother has muscular dystrophy, and his grandmother passed away from it.

To check out more on this story, read Joe Giglio’s article. 

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Jaylen Samuels Sparking a Fantasy Football Controversy

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Former NC State Swiss Army Knife Jaylen Samuels scored his 2nd NFL touchdown on Sunday in the Steelers loss to the Chargers, and with James Conner being ruled out of this Sunday’s game versus the Raiders, Jay Sam is set to start his first career NFL game.

Samuels is being snatched up right and left by Yahoo Fantasy Football Managers across the world, not only because of the guaranteed increased workload, but because Yahoo lists him as both a running back and a tight end.

People have been trying to figure out what position Jaylen Samuels plays for years. Nothing has changed.

Kudos to all the people who were smart enough to stash him away, and get to start a running back at the tight end this week.

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BJ Hill Sacks Bears 3 Times, Breaks Giants Record

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Former NC State Defensive Tackle BJ Hill had a record breaking 3-sack performance on Sunday in the Giants 30-27 victory over the Bears.

Hill now has 5 sacks on the year, tying the Giants rookie record for sacks in a season with 4 games left.

BJ Hill – 5 – 2018
Cornelius Griffin – 5 – 2000
Andy Headen – 5 – 1983

(Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor had 9.5 sacks in 1981, but sacks didn’t become an official statistical category until 1982. Sorry LT.)

Hill currently leads the team in sacks, and a rookie has NEVER led the Giants in sacks.

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