Deron Michael Williams (pronounced /ˈdɛrən/ DERR-in) (born June 26, 1984), nicknamed D-Will, is an American basketball player currently with the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Prior to playing in the NBA, Williams played for the University of Illinois men's basketball team. Williams was drafted 3rd overall in the 2005 draft by the Utah Jazz, for whom he played before being traded in the middle of his sixth season to the Nets. He is a two-time All-Star and a gold medal winner at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
In elementary school and middle school, Williams won two state wrestling championships. In 1993, as an eight-year-old, he won the 67 lb. weight class Texas State championship. Four years later in 1997, he won the twelve-year-old 116 lb. weight class championship. Williams attended The Colony High School in The Colony, Texas and averaged 17 points, 9.4 assists, and 2 steals per game as a junior in 2001. That year he led his team, the Cougars, to a 32–2 record and the Class 5A state semifinals against Bryan High. In 2002, as a senior, he averaged 17.6 points, 8.5 assists, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game. His team, the Cougars, went 29–2 that season, losing the 5A Texas State semifinals. Williams was a teammate of Bracey Wright who went on to play for Big Ten rival Indiana University.
Williams was recruited to play college basketball at the University of Illinois for the 2002–03 NCAA season. In his freshman year, he started 30 of 32 games and ranked third in the Big Ten Conference in assists with 4.53 per game.