We are back with another edition of The Pro-File with our man from Regina Kai Williams where he talks an early season exit, coming home and getting JAK’d for the off season right here …
Regina, SK’s Kai Williams went to Campbell Collegiate before heading off to South Dakota St where he starred for four seasons. As a Jackrabbits he earned 2nd Team All D1 Independent and All Newcomer Team as a freshman and then earned all conference honorable mention as a senior once SDSU to the Summit League. He would end up as the schools second all time rebounder and be the second player to lead the team in rebounding all four years as well as being ranked seventh all time in scoring. After graduating in 2010 he has played in France, Cyprus and had two stints in the British Basketball League where he played with his older brother Jamal last year on the Worcester Wolves. Kai is currently applying his trade in Sweden in the first division with Umea BSKT. He’s currently averaging 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assist, 1 steal while shooting 50% from the floor, including 40.8% from the three and 84.6% from the line in the 31 games …
It’s a beautiful time of the year to be a basketball fan! With the NCAA Final Four finishing just the other week – I thought the badgers had it – and the NBA playoffs just around the corner, its basically like Christmas. Definitely something you take for granted while being overseas is being able to watch NBA games or even college games at a reasonable time. With the time change sometimes to have to stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning just to catch a game which can be a killer and I am not about that life.
I am back home now in tropical Regina, Saskatchewan …It’s always a good feeling to come home after 7-9 months away but I must admit that it is a little weird being home this early. Every year I have been back home by the middle of May but this year I arrived home on March 27th! Our team out in Sweden didn’t do as well as we would have hoped that’s why our season was so short but sometimes that’s how it goes. We had a few key guys getting injured and a few players left the team so the second half of the year when we thought we were going to make a playoff push we were hit by all that and missed out of the postseason. Even though my season over in Sweden had a lot of ups and downs, whether it was a big road win or a tough home loss, it was a great learning experience for myself. It was great to get an opportunity in a new league and prove to myself that I can play at a higher level than I have been over these previous few seasons. Which has added even more motivation to my off-season regiment!
The four clubs still fortunate enough to be playing out in Sweden are wrapping up their semi final match ups and then once the finals are over then my agent and I will have some sort of an idea if I will be heading back over to Sweden. Always have to wait and let coaches and GMs reflect on their season and see what changes they need to make to the rosters so hopefully something comes through in a couple months. The team that I played for this season is interested in bringing me back and have actually expressed a lot of interest in my older brother as well, so that could be a nice little situation for us. It’s always tough to wait around for a contract but luckily I have a few things going on to keep my mind busy and occupied.
Other than trying to improve my game and stay in shape this summer I will be, along with my brother and a good friend, running our skills development program called JAK Basketball. We started this JAK Basketball Skill Development Program two summers ago and it has been a ton of fun and has had a good following in Regina. In our first two summers we just worked with elementary and high school players. Now we are working with elementary players, High School players and The University of Regina Men’s and Women’s Basketball Programs. We have been really fortunate that so many people are supporting us and asking us to work with them.
My brother Jamal and I have been so fortunate to have great coaches at such a young age, which helped us develop a love and passion for the game. With that love and passion we were both able to go on an experience even greater coaching and competition in our high school and university careers which ultimately led to us getting a chance overseas which we are forever grateful for. So we just want everything to come full circle and give back by using all of our amazing experiences with different coaches and on court to spark that passion in the next batch of Regina hoopsters!
I have found that teaching/coaching the game of basketball especially in the skills department has made me more of a cerebral player over the past few years. The game has really slowed down for me. Not only do I enjoy working with players that are trying to get better but it also helps me get better as a player so its a win-win situation!
So it will be a busy summer and a lot of time spent in the gym, which is every player’s ideal summer.
Basketball has given me so much and I am looking forward to whatever it has in store for me in the future!
Thanks for reading!
A big thank you to Kai for giving us an insight into the professional life overseas for another year. You can follow his exploits here periodically as well as his day-to-day on Twitter @kai11williams as well as on Instagram at KaiWilliams23. And over the summer you can check for Kai and the JAK Basketball team in Regina by following them out Twitter @JAKBasketball or on Facebook.