ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt was among the people who advised former Maryland forward Jordan Williams on his decision to leave the program after two years and enter the 2011 NBA draft, Williams said Tuesday.
Van Pelt “was a big factor in helping me make my decision” to go pro, Williams said following a pre-draft workout for the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. “Just giving me feedback, what he thought about it. Just trying to make me make the right decision. He did a great job, and I give him a lot of credit for going out of his way.
“He's a really busy guy, so for him to go out of his way to do that is unbelievable.”
Williams said he first met Van Pelt during his freshman year at Maryland, when Van Pelt spoke to the team at a practice prior to the Terrapins’ game at Duke.
“A great guy; a wonderful person,” Williams said. “Always trying to reach his hand out and help, even when he doesn't have to. He's always using his knowledge and using who he knows to help me out.”
When asked by The Post for comment, an ESPN spokesman said either the network or Van Pelt would respond later in the day.
After Maryland’s season ended in March, Williams left school and began working out in Las Vegas at Impact Basketball. Before leaving school, Williams said he e-mailed the teachers of all four of his classes to ask them if he could take an “incomplete” so that he could finish the courses during the summer.
But after about four or five weeks of working out in Las Vegas, Williams said, he felt he was ready to leave college basketball behind and move on to the NBA.
He announced his decision to remain in the draft and sign with agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports on May 4. A day later, Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams announced his retirement after 22 seasons at the helm in College Park.
Jordan Williams said he kept in contact with Gary Williams throughout his decision-making process, though the two have not been in touch since they made their respective decisions.
“I haven't spoken to him,” Jordan Williams said. “It's been tough because a lot of people have been asking him all these questions about retiring. I've been doing my own thing. We've kind of both been really, really busy. I know for a fact that after I get drafted and after everything's all said and done I'm definitely going to sit down and talk to him.”
Jordan Williams said he plans to eventually return to Maryland to get his degree.