‘This is where I wanted to be’: Ziaire Williams formally introduced by Grizzlies

Sports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Ziaire Williams is home after being formally introduced by the Memphis Grizzlies Friday afternoon.

Williams was selected No. 10 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Grizzlies and according to him, this is the organization he’s dreamed of joining.

“I love that we’re a playoff caliber team and I really feel like with the hunger and the grit that we have is only going to make become a better player not only for myself, but more importantly for the organization,” said Williams.

Grizzlies General Manager Zach Kleiman said they’ve been following Williams since he was in high school at Sierra Canyon School. They’re locked in and so are his new teammates.

“A lot of the guys have reached out to me on twitter, Instagram, on my phone, text me. I felt the love, you know,” Williams said.

As a freshman at Stanford, Williams averaged 10.7 points and 4.6 rebounds a game for the Cardinal. He garnered Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention honors and was named a Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year top-10 finalist.

The 6’9″ forward impressed the Grizzlies front office with his athletic ability and potential. Kleiman said this is a “multi-year development process.”

“6-10, 6-9 wings are nearly impossible to come by with shot making ability and athleticism and the intelligence that Ziaire brings to the table,” said Kleiman following the draft. “So, we’re going to have patience with him. I would encourage everyone to have patience as he comes along. Sometimes you have a No. 10 pick and you want results from Day 1 and I would say this is about the long-term.”

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins spoke highly of Williams, “as we outlined to him what our beliefs are for him as player and a member of our organization he had a big smile of his face. He understood that he could be a big part of what we’re doing here.”

Williams will don the No. 8 jersey for the Grizzlies. He says to honor the late Kobe Bryant.

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