Jalen Williams shares scary truth about his rookie season eye injury

Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder pieced together an epic draft class during the 2022 NBA Draft, grabbing three lottery picks in Chet Holmgren, Ousmane Dieng, and Jalen Williams, with Jaylin Williams becoming a solid second-round role player, It is partly why NBA media tabs them as having the best young core in the NBA.

The OKC Thunder have to be pleased with Jalen Williams’ rookie season, in which he finished runner-up for the 2023 Rookie of the Year award behind just Paolo Banchero. Jalen Williams played in 75 games for the OKC Thunder, averaging 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists per game while posting 1.9 stocks (steals plus blocks) per game.

Jalen Williams reveals interesting details about his rookie season eye injury in OKC Thunder debut.

The All-Rookie team forward helped impact games for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who saw a 16-win increase. This was in large part due to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s rise to Superstardom, while Jalen Williams was alongside Josh Giddey on the rising stars challenge.

Jalen Williams made his NBA debut on October 29th, 2022 in Minnesota. That outing spanned just five minutes before Williams was elbowed in the eye and was forced to miss the next four games. When the Santa Clara swiss army knife returned, he was dawning a mask to help protect the injured eye.

Jalen Williams went on the Don’t Trip podcast and discussed his eye injury at length “I got hit in my face the first four minutes of my NBA career…I already got to do the mask thing, that was kinda cool” Williams said his mom was in attendance for the game “we got lunch [before the game] discussing how cool it was that I was in the NBA now.”

Williams continued talking about the injury saying “I almost punched my eye, so I am going through the season and my eye is blood-shot red the whole time, I could not blow my nose until March…I am going through all that, and I am playing well, so once I can finally see halfway through the year, everything kinda slowed down…My first game back, I was seeing two rims, everything was hazy.”

In March, the month Williams says he could finally blow his nose again, Jalen Williams played in 15 games, scoring nearly 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists a game while shooting 56 percent from the floor, 46 percent from beyond the arc, and 87 percent at the line. That could be the key to success for the Thunder forward! You know what they say, clear nose, full hearts, can’t lose.

The OKC Thunder forward was very open on this podcast, including about his experience playing against LeBron James on the night James broke the NBA scoring record. The lifelong Lakers fan experiencing his first game in Staples center in that envoiurment while helping lift the Thunder to a win was among his top moments as a rookie season.

Grading the OKC Thunder 2023 FIBA World Cup run. dark. Next