PHOENIX – Most college players who declare early for the NBA Draft make that choice because they crave the big salary and lavish lifestyle that awaits them.
Former University of Arizona forward Derrick Williams was compelled to declare early to play in the NBA for a different reason.
“I like the competition. Every night you can’t take a day off. Every night there’s always going to be another person coming for your spot. The competitive nature that I have, always wanting that challenge that any given night I’m going to play a great player,” said Williams on the Jim Rome show on ESPN Thursday.
“It’s not really about money for me,” said Williams.
It would be foolish to believe that money wasn’t a factor at all for Williams as most players claim it’s not about the money when usually it’s all about the money.
Still, Williams admitted it was difficult to leave Arizona considering the team would have been a top preseason ranked school.
“It was hard to leave school. Arizona is a great place, a good place for me, just a great fit all around,” said Williams.
The former U of A star said it was especially difficult to give up his dream of winning a National Championship.
He admitted if he knew that staying for another year would have guaranteed winning a college title, he would have put his NBA dream on hold.
“Having a National Championship goes a long way. It stays with you for 30 to 40 years,” said Williams.
Next season, barring an extended lockout, Williams can begin his quest for a loftier goal, winning an NBA title.