The Arizona Wildcats announced Friday, Sept. 4, sophomore guard Brandon Williams will be leaving the program to pursue professional opportunities. He will forego his remaining college eligibility.
“Arizona, I Say Thank You!” Williams wrote in a statement. “Thank you to the University, the fans, the basketball staff and all those who supported me. I especially want to thank Sean Miller, who believed in me from day one. I also want to send a special thanks to athletic trainer Justin Kokoskie and the training staff for pushing me each day during this long rehab process. With that being said, it’s now time for me to pursue my goals of being a professional basketball player. I will continue to pursue my degree in the future, and it will always be UofA forever in my heart. Thanks again to the entire Arizona basketball family, both past and present! BEARDOWN FOREVER!!!”
Williams was a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school, ranked as the No. 39 player in his class and one of the top three prospects from the state of California in his class.
His freshman season in Tucson had its ups and downs, playing in 26 games where he averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 assists per game. His biggest struggles came as a shooter where he shot just 38% from the field and 32% from the three-point line. He wound up being named a Pac-12 All-Freshman team honorable mention.
“I am going to miss Brandon Williams being a part of our everyday program at Arizona,” head coach Sean Miller said in a statement. “However, I am excited to follow his path moving forward, both on the basketball court and academically, as he continues to pursue his undergraduate degree from our university.
The injuries unfortunately derailed Williams short stint at Arizona, missing six games his freshman year before a knee injury sidelined him all of last year.
“Brandon is one of the most talented guards we have recruited during my tenure here," Miller said in a statement. "Unfortunately, his health didn’t allow him to showcase his talents for an entire career in our program. In his lone year playing for us, while he was never 100% physically, Brandon had an outstanding season. On a personal level, I want to thank Brandon’s parents, Chris and Kisha, for their unwavering support of both their son and our basketball program. I will certainly miss seeing them at our games and throughout the season.”
Miller and the Wildcats brought in multiple overseas recruits this offseason, including Lithuanian brothers Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis. This brought Arizona to having 13 players on scholarship, one over the NCAA’s limit of 12, so it was inevitable that someone was going to have to leave or transfer.
The Wildcats back court currently consists of James Akinjo, Jemarl Baker Jr., Terrell Brown and Kerr Krissa heading into this upcoming season.
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