Jordan Williams, a center from Maryland who left college two years early to enter the NBA draft, is projected as a 1st round pick. Tuesday, following a pre-draft workout in DC, Williams dropped something of a bomb: ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, a noted Maryland alum, helped him on his decision to depart early for the draft.
“Just giving me feedback, what he thought about it. Just trying to make me make the right decision. He did a great job, and I give him a lot of credit for going out of his way. He’s a really busy guy, so for him to go out of his way to do that is unbelievable.”
Apparently, Williams and Van Pelt became friendly two years ago, when, according to the Washington Post’s Steve Yanda, “Van Pelt spoke to the team at a practice prior to the Terrapins’ game at Duke.” Williams later gushed about the Sportscenter anchor:
“A great guy; a wonderful person. Always trying to reach his hand out and help, even when he doesn’t have to. He’s always using his knowledge and using who he knows to help me out.”
I asked Van Pelt about it via twitter and email, but have not heard back. He did respond to one fan, though, saying, “no idea the context. I certainly had nothing to do with choice he made.” This should get interesting.
Van Pelt had some issues with Maryland fans last season, and this news certainly won’t go over well in College Park, where there’s a rebuilding project going on. I bet Terps’ fans are thrilled they now have to worry about keeping Van Pelt happy, lest he steer other kids out of the program.
Jordan Williams says ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt ‘a big factor’ in helping him decide on NBA draft [Wash Post]