For four years at Ohio State, Kam Williams has impressed the coaching staff with his hardworking approach to the game. Now it’s that same drive that has the 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard exploring his options at the NBA level.
The redshirt junior was among 137 collegiate underclassmen on a list released Tuesday evening by the NBA to declare themselves eligible for this year’s draft. Williams is not hiring an agent, keeping his amateur status intact and leaving open the option of returning for the 2017-18 season.
“He’s just going to go out there, get some workouts as opposed to working out on his own or working out with the (Ohio State) coaches,” his father, Kevin Williams, said. “And if you know Kam like I know Kam, you’ll find him in the gym pretty much any time he’s not in class. He just wanted to explore his options and see what the NBA guys had to say.”
In 102 career games including 31 starts, Williams has averaged 7.6 points while shooting 42.4 percent from three-point range (286 of 675). Last season, he averaged a career-high 9.4 points and started 29 of 32 games but saw his three-point shooting percentage dip from 43.7 percent as a sophomore to 37.6 percent.
Underclassmen had to submit a letter signifying their intent to test their draft stock by April 23 and they have until May 24 to withdraw their names and be able to play next season. Williams is the second Ohio State player to do so, joining Trevor Thompson, who also declared last year but did not sign with an agent and returned to school.
Players who are not invited to the NBA combine can work out for one team and be evaluated before May 25. Last year, more than 70 players were invited to the combine.
“Since they allowed colleges and the kids to do this, it’s a win for the kids to go out and do some extra training and workouts during the offseason to prepare themselves for the upcoming year,” Kevin Williams said. “It’s not like he’s going out there thinking, ‘I’m going to be the No. 1 draft (pick) coming out of this draft class.’ It’s just to go out there, get some workouts and get some information from other sources and come back and continue on.”