Jaylin Williams’ Parents: The First NBA Player of Vietnamese Descent

He is a professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He was selected 34th overall by the Thunder in the 2022 NBA draft, making history as the first player of Vietnamese descent to be drafted in the NBA.

Jaylin Williams' Parents
Jaylin Williams’ Parents| Media Tegna

But who are Jaylin Williams’ parents, and how did they support his basketball journey?

Here is everything you need to know about his family background and heritage.

ALSO READ: Max Christie’s Parents: A Basketball Family

Jaylin Williams’ Parents: Michael and Linda Williams

Jaylin Williams was born on June 29, 2002, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Michael and Linda Williams.

His father is African American, while his mother is of Vietnamese descent.

Jaylin Williams' Parents
Jaylin Williams’ Parents| Oklahoma

 

They have been very supportive of Jaylin, as well as their four other children.

The Thunder big man has three brothers — Mikey, Marquis and Montell, and one sister named Synora Phillips.

His sister lives in Oklahoma City, and he’s happy that he’s able to interact with her and his nephew and niece regularly.

Jaylin Williams' Parents
Jaylin Williams’ Parents

Jaylin Williams’ parents are not well-known to the public, as they prefer to keep their private life away from the media.

However, they are very proud of their son’s achievement in basketball and often share his success story on their social media accounts.

Jaylin Williams’ mother, Linda, is from St. Croix in the United States but grew up in the Bronx.

Her parents migrated to the United States when they were children, but their nationality is unknown.

Jaylin Williams’ father, Michael, is also an American citizen, but his date of birth, place of birth, and occupation are unknown.

Jaylin Williams’ Vietnamese Heritage and History-Making Debut

Jaylin Williams is an Asian-American who identifies with his Vietnamese heritage.

He grew up learning about his mother’s culture and language, and he even has a tattoo of the Vietnamese flag on his arm.

He also loves Vietnamese food, especially pho and spring rolls.

In an interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball News, Jaylin Williams discussed his Vietnamese heritage and how he feels about making history in the NBA.

 

“Honestly, it’s amazing,” Williams said. “I didn’t know that I was going to be first until a couple weeks before the draft.

It’s honestly crazy, with how long the NBA has been around and how big it is over there.

Just the love that I’ve gotten from Vietnam and people who are supporting me from that area, it’s crazy.”

Jaylin Williams made his NBA debut on October 23, 2022, against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He became the first player of Vietnamese descent to play in an NBA game.

He had four points, six rebounds and two assists in eight minutes of action in the Thunder’s 116-106 loss.

He has played 16 games this season, starting six. He’s averaging 3.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

He also spent some time in the NBA G League, playing for the OKC Blue.

He had 21 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in a game against the Sioux Falls Skyfall.

 

Jaylin Williams is not the only player of Asian descent who declared for the 2022 NBA draft.

Kai Sotto of the Philippines, Hyun-jung Lee of South Korea and Fanbo Zeng of China all went undrafted.

UCLA’s Johnny Juzang, who is also of Vietnamese descent, went undrafted as well, but he was signed by the Utah Jazz in the offseason and plays for them on a two-way contract.

 

Jaylin Williams’ Basketball Career and Future Potential

Jaylin Williams started playing basketball at a young age, inspired by his father and older brothers.

He attended Northside High School in Fort Smith, where he was a four-year starter and a two-time Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year.

He led his team to two state championships and averaged 18.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a senior.

Jaylin Williams then played two seasons for Arkansas, becoming a starter in his sophomore season.

He helped the Razorbacks reach the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, where they lost to eventual champions Baylor.

He averaged 8.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 blocks per game in his final season, shooting 50.4% from the field and 37.4% from the three-point line.

Jaylin Williams decided to enter the 2022 NBA draft, where he was projected to be a late first-round or early second-round pick.

He impressed scouts with his versatility, athleticism, and defensive ability.

He can play both the power forward and center positions, and he can stretch the floor with his shooting.

He can also handle the ball, pass, and rebound well for his size.

He has a high basketball IQ and a strong work ethic.

He needs to improve his strength, consistency, and free-throw shooting to become a more effective player in the NBA.

Jaylin Williams has a lot of potential to become a valuable contributor for the Thunder, who are in a rebuilding mode.

He has shown flashes of his talent and skills in his rookie season, and he is eager to learn and grow as a player.

He has a great opportunity to develop under coach Mark Daigneault and alongside young stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Lu Dort.

He also has a lot of fans and supporters from his hometown, his college, and his mother’s country, who are cheering for him and his success.

Jaylin Williams is a trailblazer for Asian-American basketball players, especially those of Vietnamese descent.

He is proud of his heritage and his family, and he hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams.

He is also a talented and promising player, who has a bright future ahead of him in the NBA.

 

 

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