It remains to be seen if he will become a key performer, the answer to a trivia question, or both, but Aaron Williams is the first-ever draft pick of the St. John’s Edge.
The expansion Edge had the first overall pick in Sunday evening’s National Basketball League Canada draft in Windsor, Ont., and used it to select Williams, a 25-year-old forward from Chicago who attended Chicago State University, a Division One NCAA school. The 6-6, 215-pound Williams played four years with the CSU Cougars and graduated from the institution in 2015. Interestingly, his mother Tonya graduated from Chicago State that same year, more than 30 years after she took her first university course.
Williams, who most recently played in China and with the Fort Wayne Flite of the Central Basketball Association, was one of 130 players who attended NBL Canada’s pre-draft combine in Windsor.
St. John’s also had the first pick of the draft’s second round Sunday and used it to take another forward out of an NCAA Division One program — 6-8, 240-pound Zach Gordon.
The 24-year-old Gordon, a native of suburban Seattle, spent five years at California Polytechnic State University (he redshirted as a freshman and graduated from the San Luis Obispo, Calif., school earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the Edge continue to announce player signings for the team’s inaugural training camp, set to begin later this month. The latest is 6-2 guard Kenneth Otieno, a native of Kenya who is out of the University of Alberta Golden Bears andwho has appeared in NBL Canada for the Island Storm (2015-16) and Halifax Hurricanes (2016-17) . He also played in the Spanish third division within the last year.
Otieno was a two-time Canada West all-star and was twice named the Golden Bears’ MVP.