Q&A with NBRPA Las Vegas Chapter President Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams

May 12, 2014

Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams is the president of the NBRPA’s Las Vegas Chapter. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft. Williams played nine years (1996-2005) in the NBA as a member of the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks. Since leaving the NBA, Williams established the JYD Project, which is a youth development program. He is also currently the head basketball coach at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, a high school that has produced a number of athletes who have gone on to play in the NBA.

Williams recently joined LegendsofBasketball.com’s Marlissa Herring to discuss the progress of the NBRPA’s Las Vegas Chapter.  

What’s new with the Las Vegas Chapter?

Well, we’ve been mentoring the Finley Prep Pilots here in Henderson, Nevada. They have become a top seven team in the country this year. We also welcomed a new member in Mike Austin formerly of the Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, and Orlando Magic. Right now we’re gearing up for our first community service event of 2014, which is a basketball camp for kids with autism that is with Touro University and the JYD Project.

Why did you get involved with the NBRPA as a chapter leader?

I think Las Vegas (Chapter) has some potential with the amount of guys here that live in the community and retired here when their career and playing days were over. I just felt like it’d be a great city to have a retired players chapter because a lot of players visit here during the summer. You have the NBA Summer League as well as it (Las Vegas) being a hotbed for basketball with AAU’s and different leagues during the summers. So, I just felt that we needed a presence here to be able to help players.

What are your goals for the Las Vegas Chapter?

My goals for the Las Vegas Chapter is to really build a strong community brand that people in the community recognize and businesses like to affiliate themselves with. It’s a very slow process in building a non-profit and they’re not done overnight but,  I know that through hard work, perseverance, and the national office, this chapter will be a strong one even though we don’t have a NBA franchise located in Las Vegas. We’re a little different and we have to set things up a little differently so we just have a little slower process.

What are upcoming events for the Las Vegas Chapter?

This summer we are looking to partner with the JYD project and other community partners in a golf outing. We’re looking forward to that but, we haven’t made any official announcements as of yet. That is something that is coming down the pike and we look forward to seeing a lot of chapters out here (Las Vegas) for that.

If other NBRPA Members in your area want to get involved in the Las Vegas Chapter, whom should they contact?

They should contact us at (702) 589-4657; we’d love to have them. We’re just a growing chapter, a young chapter, and we’re just helping out in the community and looking to build on all of our names and guys that have played this game.