Former Duke star signed with Austin Toros Friday

Updated: December 8, 2006, 7:16 PM ET
Associated Press

Jay Williams is resuming his comeback in the NBA's Development League.

Jay Williams
Williams

The former Duke star, still trying to make it back from severe injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident three years ago, signed Friday with the Austin Toros and will begin practicing with the team Saturday.

After being waived by the New Jersey Nets in October, Williams considered offers to play in Europe before deciding his best chance to get back to the NBA was by staying in the United States and playing with the NBA's minor league.

"It's really not about the money, it's not about going over there to make money," Williams said in a phone interview. "It's more about me trying to fulfill my dream."

Williams will play for former Celtics point guard Dennis Johnson. He said the most important thing is regaining the confidence he lost from sitting out for so long and not seeing the results he was used to.

"I think the big thing to me is I just need to play," Williams said. "Things would be going really good, and then just as quick as I was doing well, I would do really bad. A lot of it is confidence."

Williams averaged 3.8 points and 13.2 minutes in five preseason games for the Nets. But he had little chance of making the team, where the Nets already had Jason Kidd as their point guard and drafted Marcus Williams in the first round.

"At the time, we thought it was going to be a good fit," Williams said. "It wasn't until we went through the process -- I'm not trying to be a third backup point guard. I'm trying to be first or second in the rotation. I need to play. I need to get game action."

Williams was the 2002 NCAA player of the year and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft that year. He averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists as a rookie for the Chicago Bulls.

His career appeared to end on June 19, 2003, when he crashed his motorcycle into a light pole in Chicago, fracturing his pelvis, tearing knee ligaments and suffering nerve damage in his left leg. The damage was so severe, doctors thought they might have to amputate his leg. He was hospitalized for 3 months.

The Toros (0-6) are off until a game at Dakota next Thursday.

"I'm coming there shooting all my bullets," Williams said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press