Williams was born Aug. 26, 2001 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the son of Janie and Eddie Williams. He has one older brother, Kobie, and both of his parents played basketball at Johnson C. Smith University. One of Williams' first jobs was delivering flowers for his mom's shop. Williams attended West Charlotte High School, where he was a four-year starter. During his junior season, he averaged 20.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.8 steals and was rated a consensus top-50 prospect in his class. He committed to playing college basketball at Florida State before his senior year of high school. As a senior, he averaged 22.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.8 blocks and led the team to the 4A State Championship game. Williams also played in the Jordan Brand Classic. During his first season at Florida State (2019-20), he was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team and was also named the Sixth Man of the Year. Williams studied Sport Management at FSU. After his freshman season, Williams declared for the NBA Draft.