West Charlotte honors one of its all-time greats, retires Patrick Williams’ No. 4 jersey

JEFF SINER/jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Three years ago, Patrick Williams made history, when he was selected No. 4 overall in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He tied former Providence High star and college basketball national player of the year Antawn Jamison as the highest drafted player from Charlotte.

Wednesday afternoon, West Charlotte High School honored Williams for his brilliant, and still young, basketball career. The Lions retired his high school jersey, No. 4.

Williams is the second West Charlotte player to have his jersey retired, athletic director John Yewcic said. The school had previously retired former UNC star Kennedy Meeks’ No. 40.

Williams, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward, was the fifth Charlotte player to go in the top 10 of the NBA draft. Stephen Curry was No. 7 in 2009; Jamison No. 4 in 1998; Walter Davis No. 5 in 1977; and Bobby Jones went No. 5 in 1974. In the 2020 draft, Williams was selected one spot after the Hornets drafted LaMelo Ball.

Williams graduated from West Charlotte in 2019. As a senior, he averaged 22.1 points, nine rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.8 blocks. He played in the 2019 Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game.

Following a freshman season at Florida State where he was named the ACC sixth man of the year, Williams declared for the NBA.

After the college season ended, Williams began to rise on draft boards as scouts favorably compared his game to Golden State forward Draymond Green. Like Green, Williams was seen as a player who could defend multiple positions.

“I had Williams sort of in the 15-to-20 range at the end of the (2020 college basketball season),” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said at the time, “but the more you watch of him on tape, the more you’re going, ‘He’s just scratching the surface of how good he’s going to be.”

Williams is just 21 now, and he’s averaging 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Bulls, who play the Hornets in Charlotte on Thursday.

Photos: West Charlotte retires Patrick Williams jersey