SPOKANE, Wash. – Former Gonzaga standout Nigel Williams-Goss was selected the 55th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz Thursday.
Williams-Goss was the second Gonzaga player taken in the draft, which marks the first time since 1971 that two Zags were selected in the same NBA Draft. Zach Collins was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 10th overall pick, before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. Howard Burford (11th round, 171st pick Portland Trail Blazers) and Terry Guigg (15th round, 219th pick, San Diego Rockets) were the only other Bulldogs to achieve the feat. Dan Dickau and Mario Kasun were both selected in the 2002 draft, but Kasun did not suit up in a game for GU.
Williams-Goss became the first player in West Coast Conference history to be named the league’s Player and Newcomer of the Year. His 16.8 points per game ranked fifth in the conference, his 4.7 assists per game was fourth, and his 1.7 steals per contest and 86.7 free-throw percentage topped the WCC. He ranked fourth in the league with a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Happy Valley, Ore. native added 6.0 rebounds per game.
Williams-Goss’ 64 steals in 2016-17 ranks fourth for most takeaways in a single season in program history. His 179 assists are ninth on the GU all-time list, while his 640 points scored is 10th. He finished his three-year collegiate career with 1,536 points, 396 assists and 133 steals.
Williams-Goss started all 38 games he played in this season at GU, reaching double-digit scoring 32 times. He scored 20 or more points in 10 games and had three double-doubles. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the WCC Tournament and to the All-Tournament Team at the Final Four.
After being named the conference Player of the Week four times during the season, he was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy. He was named to the Wooden Award All-American Team, and First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated and the USBWA. He was tabbed Second Team All-American by NBC Sports, The Sporting News, USA Today, the NABC and the Associated Press.
Williams-Goss boasted a 3.84 GPA and received a degree in Psychology. For his success off of the court, he was named First Team Academic All-American by CoSIDA. He was also selected as the Men's Scholar Athlete of the Year by the DI-AAA ADA and received the Mike Gilleran Scholar Athlete of the Year honor by the West Coast Conference.
Williams-Goss was singled out for academic achievements at the Final Four and was given the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award, which recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.
Williams-Goss is the 22nd GU player selected in the NBA Draft all-time.