Former Saint Joseph’s players and 2018 graduates Shavar Newkirk and Jai Williams have each recently signed contracts to begin their professional basketball careers, it was reported by Eurobasket.com.
Newkirk signed with the Halifax Hurricanes of the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC), which reached the NBLC Finals last season, while Williams will be playing in Poland with Polpharma Starogard Gdanski of the Energa Basketball Liga (EBL), the highest-tiered league in the country.
Newkirk led the Hawks in scoring last year with 17.4 points per game as he made a comeback from an ACL injury that shortened his junior season. He was named to the 2017-18 Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team and the All-Big 5 Second Team while also topping SJU with 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. The 6-0 guard from New York, N.Y., scored double figures in all but capped his career with 1,193 points to rank 38th among SJU’s all-time leading scorers. He was also named the team’s co-MVP for the past season.
Williams, a 6-9 forward from Philadelphia, played in 57 games during his career for the Hawks, seeing action in 27 games as a junior. He received the team’s inaugural Ariano Character Award in 2017-18 and was named the squad’s Most Improved Player in 2016-17.
Both Newkirk and Williams were members of the Hawks’ 2016 Atlantic 10 Champion team.