Jack has a big connection to coach Williams
Old 11-22-2010, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Not only is he escaping the Toronto winter, joining the 11-1 New Orleans Hornets and getting to play with one of his closest friends in All-Star Chris Paul, he is also being reunited with Monty Williams. Most people know that Williams was an assistant with Portland, coaching Jack during his time as a Blazer. What some may not know is that their connection runs much deeper than that.
I can’t tell you the number of times Jack has mentioned Williams during scrums where Portland would come up or even in conversations when talking about basketball and life. It’s clear that Williams has had a huge impact on Jack’s professional career. It’s appropriate considering the impact Jack’s father had on Williams as a teen growing up outside of Washington, D.C.
Before Jack ever ended up in Portland, the Jack family was making a difference in future coach Monty Williams life. As a teen in PG County, Williams was a gym rat. Bouncing from court to court, he found a home away from home at a specific rec center. Little did he know that his time spent on the basketball court of that rec center would stay with him long after he had moved onto the NBA and settled into an assistant coaching gig with the Portland Trailblazers. He would be reminded of his past and of the people who helped him get to the big stage after the Blazers made a draft night trade for Jack.
One thing about Jack: He’s very close with his family. They’re good people, very present in their son’s life. Whereas some professional athletes have family members float in and out, the Jack clan was often in Toronto and always supporting their son. When he was to begin his pro career in Portland, of course they went with him.
This is when Williams realized there was a reason Jack was a familiar face.
“All of the kids back around PG county, right outside of DC, we were all just kids of the hood,” Williams said. “We’d go from one rec, one ballpark to the next. Saturday’s we’d go to Marlow Heights Rec. That’s where [Jack's] dad was. I actually knew his dad before I knew him. Back then we had older people that took care of the young people. If you were messing up, they’d tell you to cut it out. Nowadays, they don’t say anything. His dad was one of those people who was like, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ He was an authority figure. When Jarrett started playing ball, I was like, ‘This kid is from PG County,’ then he comes to Portland and his dad comes with him and I’m like, ‘That’s your dad?!’ and it just blew me away. We live in a small world. From that standpoint, I felt obligated to be even more forthright with him just because of what his dad was for all of the kids in our neighborhood.”
Over the past year, Jack has often referenced Williams and the effect he’s had on his game.
“He taught me really how to be a professional at the NBA level,” Jack said. “We kind of knew each other through my dad. He really taught me the ropes, taught me how to be professional. A lot of what you see as far as me carrying myself at this level is what he has taught me.”
Going even further than an impact on court, he said Williams was the steadying hand that was always there, helping to keep him on the right path.
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Jack is a firm believer in everything having a time and purpose. Speaking about the presence of Williams in his life after his father had made an impact on Williams’ life, Jack said, “”Some things are meant to be. Destined for whatever reason, the stars align that way. I’m just happy he was there for my three years. He helped me and I think it’s definitely showing right now.”
When the Blazers were in town to play the Raptors last February, Williams reflected on the relationship he had with Jack’s father and then the relationship he had built with Jack during his time in Portland. “Everything comes full circle,” Monty said “I had guys like that, too. His dad was that for me. I’ve tried to be that for him. He’ll be that for someone else. It’s amazing how God orchestrates things like that. You think it’s coincidence, but, there’s six billion people on earth and that happened and it’s supposed to be coincidence.”
Jack now being a New Orleans Hornet, playing for Williams? Nothing coincidental about that.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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usually when B.C trades guys, he puts them in a good situation
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good for him ...
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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great read. i hope jack finally settles in NO, win a ring with CP3!
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