I just finished with this one today, and man oh man is this one good! I was excited to read this, as I knew that Jay Williams had his injury that put him out of basketball and now he is one of the biggest faces on ESPN and College Gameday.
What I didn’t know was what the book detailed. A kid who was given so much going into his professional career and then one silly mistake put his life into a rotating descent as the years passed. Rehab after rehab to gain back what he had lived for, basketball, and finally came the day that he had to give it up and look to following basketball in a different capacity: broadcasting.
I found so fascinating that Jay Williams dealt with so much and even with his addiction to drugs and his depression, he always continued to fight for his shot back at the NBA, although he knew those chances were small. He kept rehabbing and taking all the initiative needed to take another shot. Even though that didn’t pan out, I do think that is what led him to find the right direction to follow his career and life post-NBA. Too often we as the public don’t get to see the in between of what happened to people from their descent and then their rise back up to greatness. Life Is Not An Accident does a great job of Jay opening up about the struggle from his bad decision to his effort to return to the NBA and then lastly, his joy and passion found in broadcasting basketball.
I love to highlight and comment in all of the books I read. For different reasons. One, I think it helps me to remember and understand what I am reading better. Another, I am able to go back and see the meaningful things or quotes that were said if I am re-reading or even skimming through. Here is a great one from this book that I think many people can take away from.
“Someone once told me that people are like trees. Every tree has leaves, branches, and roots. Some people are leaves-hanging there for a minute, but a gust of wind can come along and they’re gone. Some people are branches-holding firm for a while until something more powerful occurs and they snap and break away. Then, if you are extremely lucky, you meet a root. A root is a person who holds firm regardless of the elements.”
This to me has so much meaning for so many people. I associate this closely with the term many use “family tree.” The term that is regularly used is for the ancestry of your family, biologically. In Jay’s book, this “family tree” signifies those in your life that are there for the personal gain they could have, the short-term, and the long-term. It’s funny because in my short 24 years of life I think that I have experienced all of these: the leaves, the branches, and the roots. An understanding of life and friendships in this way can really allow people to see through others trying to gain from their own successes.
I loved this book from start to finish. As an avid reader and sports lover, this one really hit the spot. It’s great to hear a story like Jay’s and know that anyone can come back from any setback or injury and be better than when they started out the first time.
As Jay finishes the book, I would like to finish the post with the same quote.
“The past should be left in the past or it can steal your future. Live life for what today can bring and not what yesterday has taken away.”