For the Honor of God

Piston?s Jerome Williams, shares how he owes everything to his Father.

by Tarice Sims

When you think of basketball you probably think of the three D?s dribble, dunk, and dominate. But, to potential 6th man of the year Jerome Williams, a forward for the Detroit Pistons, the 3 D?s mean something different: dedication, determination and discipline. When Connection Magazine first sat down to talk with the talented 26-year-old, he was in the middle of preparing to face off with the Philadelphia 76ers on NBC.

The confidence he shows on the court emphasizes the three words he?s come to use to describe himself as a person off the court.

"You always have to be determined and you have to have a dedication to [any] goal that you have set for yourself," explained Williams. "But through all that you can?t have anything without discipline. Discipline is... when you don?t want to do something or you feel your way is the best way but it?s not the way that someone is teaching you." His words stem from an endearing relationship with his family.

Born and raised in the Washington D.C. area, Jerome was raised in a Christian home, which instilled small town values amid big city life. Williams is the middle child. Born the second of three sons Johnnie Williams III being the oldest and Joshua the youngest. He says a Christian life is the only life he?s ever known. "At a young age I started off in a Christian school, and my parents kept us in the church. We were alter servers, my older brother and I. As a foundation it gives you those values and morals that you always try and do the right thing." The right thing for Williams was to pursue his education.

As a student at Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland Williams excelled in athletics, but as a 6?2?? player from an unknown school the scholarship offers weren?t didn?t come. After graduation he enrolled at Montgomery Junior College in Germantown, Maryland where he took classes, played basketball and held a part-time job to pay for tuition. Then the miraculous happened. In his two years at Montgomery, Williams grew 7" to his present height of 6?9". It wasn?t to long until he received his promise, a full scholarship to Georgetown University.

Williams shares significant ministry with his brother Johnnie. Together they co-founded Positive Shades of Black, a non-profit organization which institutes educational programs within Detroit to help motivate and guide young adults into adulthood. This program goes far beyond traditional tutoring or self-help organizations. P.S.B. as it?s known also offers life skills helping to prepare young people for job seeking, goal setting even understanding credit. Williams realized he was in a blessed situation and to offer hope and support to the young people in his city, was not only a fulfilling opportunity but a responsibility. It?s all apart of God?s divine plan for his life. "I?m here for the Lord I just try to help as many kids as I can," said Williams. My brother and I just explain to them what life is all about. You know the way they look at me as being a success or being a role model. I try to explain to them what it took for me to get here. So if you want to follow in my footsteps your gonna have to do a lot of the same thing s that I had to do. A lot of hard work, a lot of determination, not only that but to do it the right way."

Williams is a spokesperson not only P.S.B. but also for living the right way. He has never touched drugs, tobacco or alcohol. He admits that just like any teen growing up he faced the same crucial choices. Instead he modeled himself after his big brother saying he never saw him take a sip or a puff so why should he.

Not to take anything away from Williams parents, Johnnie II and Seaquette, whom he says, are his best friends. He?s says he?s grateful to God for placing him in such loving and secure hands. "Both my parents have always been that solid oak tree in my life, they?ve been there through thick and thin. They were always there for us as kids. When you look back on your life and you realize what steps it took for you to get there you couldn?t have made any of those steps possible without your parents supporting you and always pushing you."

The Williams parental support system stood on the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Williams listened to his parent?s instructions because essentially it was God?s instructions. "In life I always had to make a decision whether it was the right one or the wrong one they supported it," said Williams. "But they were always pushing me to get my education and things of that nature. I know as a kid you always don?t know what decision you may feel is the right one. You have people in your life that support you and would never steer you in the wrong direction your gonna listen to them. That?s the only thing that happened in my life, I listened to my parents."