The annual migration of talented Duke players to the NBA has begun with Mark Williams, who declared his intentions on Monday on Twitter.
Williams, a sophomore, leaves Duke with tremendous affection and respect. He became a fan favorite for many reasons not least of all how hard he played but also his considerable intelligence for the game. Here’s what his coach, Mike Krzyzewski, had to say:
“Mark was a joy to coach. This is such a special moment for him and his incredible family, and we will miss having the Williamses in our program. Mark was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and one of the best shot blockers in the country, but that doesn’t tell the entire story about the type of player he is. He is gifted at both ends of the floor and is driven to get even better every day. The NBA team that drafts Mark is obviously getting a talented player, but an equally impressive young man off the court that will represent their organization with class. I cannot wait to watch him at the next level.”
He’s got some things to work on, not least of all physical strength and more of an all-around game. But at Duke he showed tenacity, an ability to run the court and that he was a tremendous defensive presence and an offensive game that is blossoming.
He’s definitely going to be fun to watch in the league and we wish him great success.
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