After an up-and-down freshman season, Stanford forward Ziaire Williams announced Wednesday that he is declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft. Williams is ranked No. 22 in the NBA Draft Prospect Rankings but went No. 11 in a February mock draft by CBS Sports' Kyle Boone.
The 6-foot-7 Williams was considered the No. 6 overall prospect in the class of 2020 by 247Sports, but he struggled at times during the transition to college basketball. Williams offered flashes of brilliance, like posting a triple-double in a win over Washington on Jan. 7, while also struggling with turnovers and outside shooting at times.
In his declaration announcement, Williams also shed light on the personal events that led him to miss nearly a month of game action during the middle of the season.
"My year at Stanford wasn't what I expected. I never had a class in person and we had a season that kept us on the road," Williams wrote. "During that time, I experienced two deaths in my family, my uncle and great uncle, each of whom I was very close to. It was important for me to attend their funerals — faith and family are the two cornerstones of my life. When I lost them, I felt like I lost a piece of myself. It was hard on all of us, but my parents stayed strong and kept me strong."
In total, Williams averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists as the Cardinal finished 14-13 (10-10 Pac-12). Williams added that he still plans to earn his degree from Stanford.
"I promised my mom that I would and I'll stay true to my word," he wrote. "That's just another reason why I feel that Stanford is not just in my past, but in my present and future."