Williams originally committed to play college basketball for Providence College, but instead chose to attend Marshall University after Providence coach Rick Barnes left for Clemson. At Marshall, he played for coach Billy Donovan's Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball team from 1994 to 1996. After redshirting his first season, he averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 assists per game during his 1995–96 freshman year.
When Marshall coach Billy Donovan accepted the head coaching position at the University of Florida in the summer of 1996, Williams decided to transfer and follow Donovan to Florida. After sitting out the 1996–97 season as required by the NCAA transfer rule, he became the starting point guard for the Florida Gators men's basketball team during the 1997–98 season, and set a Florida Gators single-game record with 17 assists in a December 3, 1997 game against Duquesne. Through twenty games, he averaged 17.1 points, 6.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game, and led the Gators to an 86–78 upset of the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington. In February 1998, however, the University of Florida suspended him for the remainder of the season for marijuana use, after two previous suspensions for the same infraction.
Read more about this topic: Jason Williams (basketball, Born 1975)
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“In looking back over the college careers of those who for various reasons have been prominent in undergraduate life ... one cannot help noticing that these men have nearly always shown from the start an interest in the lives of their fellow students. A large acquaintance means that many persons are dependent on a man and conversely that he himself is dependent on many. Success necessarily means larger responsibilities, and responsibilities mean many friends.”
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