Jahlil Okafor and Jabari Parker have experienced success at every level of their basketball careers.
In high school, both of them won state championships with their respective Chicago schools, Whitney Young and Simeon. In college, they both attended Duke, where Okafor helped the Blue Devils win their fifth national championship in school history during his freshman year in 2015.
It remains to be seen how their NBA careers will look when it's all said and done, but they're just getting started and former Duke guard and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams is confident that the two have bright futures at the professional level.
"I knew they were both going to be successful in the pros," Williams said last month when he visited Comcast SportsNet Chicago to promote his memoir. "Obviously, Jahlil going to Philadelphia is a little bit of a different scenario then Jabari going to Milwaukee, but they're both special players. I knew Jabari was going to be special just because of his footwork and versatility, and his ability to shoot the basketball. And both of these players have the willingness to buy into what Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) was preaching. That's coach ability, and that goes a long way.
"And for Jahlil, it's not every day you see somebody with that size. The NBA is transitioning more to these small forwards, like a Draymond Green. I think Jah, his footwork and his hands, his hand-eye coordination is off the charts. It's a matter for him now to get surrounded by the right pieces and that's where you have to trust upper management for Philadelphia. But no doubt about it, they're both very special players."
Williams was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Bulls, where he spent his only season in the big leagues before his life took a sudden turn. He was involved in a motorcycle accident that effectively ended his basketball career.
Williams documented the events and recalled his story in his new book titled, "Life Is Not An Accident."
"Everybody makes mistakes in life," Williams told CSN. "For a long time, I looked at my life through the prism of that mistake and I thought that mistake defined me. As you move on in life, you recognize that this is who I was in my past, this is not who I am now and it's time for me to relinquish the pain that I held from my past and move on because I'm a better person because of it. Fall down seven times, get up the eighth, and that's the way you should live your life."
See what else Williams had to see in the full interview above, which includes some advice for Illinois high school players ahead of the IHSA state championships this weekend on CSN.
Also be sure to check out Williams' appearance on SportsTalk Live from February in the video below.