Derrick Williams only adding to his legend

April, 21, 2011
4/21/11
11:15
AM ET
You know what's impressive? Scoring 32 points and grabbing 13 rebounds (on 11-of-17 from the field and 5-of-6 from 3) in a 93-77 rout of the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

You know what's even more impressive? Doing so with a broken pinky on your shooting hand.

Naturally, that's exactly what Arizona forward Derrick Williams did. As you probably know, Williams played with a bulky wrap on his right hand for the final two months of his sophomore season at Arizona. The official explanation from Arizona was that Williams had merely sprained his pinky. In fact, it was broken. He just didn't want anyone to know:
"I think that if you tell people that you're injured, then people on the other team go after your injuries more, like intentionally slapping my hand when I'd go up for a shot, or something like that," Williams said Wednesday. "I was just trying to keep it under wraps, trying to keep as much padding on it as possible. Playing with three fingers, obviously there was something wrong."

That's just ... wow. Impressive.

Does this revelation affect Williams' draft stock? It's hard to see how it could; the 6-foot-8 forward is essentially a lock to be selected in the top five of the 2011 NBA draft, and he could very well go No. 1 overall. The knowledge that Williams earned that status while not at full strength has to have some NBA scouts drooling. At the very least, Williams thinks NBA GMs will appreciate his toughness and ambidexterity.
"I think it really helps me, the draft stock, saying that I was basically playing with a cast on my hand; just using my left hand whenever I could, except for shooting 3s and free throws," Williams said. "Being able to use both hands during the season, for a good part of the season, I think really helped my draft stock."

Hard to disagree with that. Which is another lesson to aspiring young college basketball players everywhere: If you want to improve your game, break your hand.

Kidding! Don't actually break your hand! Just dribble and shoot with your weak hand as much as you do with your strong. Best case? You end up like Derrick Williams. Worst case? You impress people at pickup basketball games. That's called a win-win, campers.

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