The community that raised Jaylin Williams


FAYETTEVILLE, AR. (KNWA) – Everyone loves that Jaylin Williams smile and the way he can charges like no one else, but his ties to Arkansas run deeper than that.

Williams is making a name for himself as a Razorback in Fayetteville, but Fort Smith will always be home.

“I would always tell people, get ready, you are going to see him on TV,” Michael Williams said.

As Jaylin’s dad Michael Williams drove us around his hometown, the memories came flooding back.

“I bring him by here all the time too,” Williams said.

“Does he remember?”

“Yes he does, he got to because I bring him by here all the time,” Williams said. “I had two basketball goals out there so he could actually run.”

Basketball is in Jaylin’s blood.

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“Mike was a really good player here at Northside, and he just took Jaylin at a young age and started teaching him the game of basketball,” Fort Smith Northside boys basketball coach Eric Burnett said.

That’s when Michael knew Jaylin had something special.

“After watching him play in his very first game you wouldn’t believe it they were already coming up and saying my god I’ve never seen a kid go after rebounds like that,” Williams said. “He’s four.”

When the gyms were closed, Williams would take Jaylin to parks around the neighborhood to work on his craft.

“We would always have this thing where it would be jelly or jam and that would be if he was going to do a finger roll or he was going to jam it so it would either be jelly or jam and it didn’t matter he did both of them,” Williams said.

“I’d go back and find the videos of when he was in the ninth grade and he as showing me some of his dunks Once he went through the growth spurt and his body caught up I was like wow this is awesome,” Williams said.

That growth spurt lead to playing high school basketball at Northside, coached by Eric Burnett.

Jaylin could’ve gone anywhere, but he wanted to stay close to home.

“He actually proud of his community and where he is from. He will always be here, he will always be here,” Williams said.

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