Hawthorne resident and Mineral County High School Lady Serpent Ashlee Orndorff came forward on her Facebook page, alleging that Matt Williams, founder of a Nevada Jam On It basketball program, had a sexual relationship with her that began when she was a minor.
Orndorff was a basketball star in Hawthorne. Measuring in at 6 foot 2 inches high, Orndorff, along with her sister were taught the fundamentals of the game long before scouts began to see her talent on the hardwood.
In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, the four-time Class 3A player who led the Mineral County Lady Serpents to three state titles from 1997-2000 explained, “This relationship, this thing has ruined my life. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Orndorff held the Nevada state record in career points, rebounds, block and single game marks in rebounds and assists. She was named a USA Today All-American honorable mention player in 1999 and the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year in 2000. She would turn out such schools as: Connecticut, North Carolina, Duke, Stanford, Arizona and Oregon to stay in Nevada to play for the Wolf Pack.
She explained in her video that she stayed in Nevada to in order to be close to Williams.
“I had everything but was taken advantage of by this man. I was under his spell,” Orndorff told the RGJ.
Orndorff played for the Jam On It organization beginning in 1998 at the age of 15. She would leave the University of Nevada, Reno in 2001 only halfway through her freshman year. From there, she explained that she went to work for Jam On It and continued to have a relationship with the founder until she gave birth in August of 2002.
She placed the child she had with Williams up for adoption and left to play basketball for the University of Portland from 2002-05.
In a Facebook post that Williams posted on the Jam On It page on Jan. 19, it states: “There have recently been accusations against me on social media regarding a prior relationship. The facts in that post, and those accusations are completely false.
Ashlee Orndorff and I had a consensual relationship which resulted in a daughter, whom she put up for adoption. For years I thought I was helping to support our daughter, until I finally met with the adoptive mother, because my daughter was reaching out to meet me, and I learned that she was not getting the support I had been sending.
She is in a loving and supportive home, and has been meeting my family over the past two years, and become a part of my family.
I was unwilling to go public with this because of my concern for my daughter’s privacy, but now it is out there, so you need to know the truth. My personal health issues had already caused me to retire from my program prior to this claim from her.
I appreciate your support over the years, and hope you will respect my family’s privacy.”
Williams explained to the RGJ that he stepped away from Jam On It in December due to tumors being discovered in his head, throat and pancreas. He claimed, in the interview with the RGJ, that the pancreatic tumor is malignant.
“It has taken me 20 years to understand what happened to me,” Orndorff stated in the RGJ. She explained that she came public with the allegations regarding Williams as “she doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to other children involved in youth sports.”
Long before the #metoo movement, Orndorff came forward alleging sexual misconduct with Williams. Taking her issue to a Washoe County court, the RGJ was able to obtain paperwork for a temporary restraining order dated March 22, 2005 which stated she had also filed a complaint with AAU previously. In her complain, she states that Williams had left threatening phone messages after going to the AAU and she feared for her safety.
In a hearing on March 31, 2005, Orndorff was told by Washoe District Court Judge Victoria Van Meter that her application was denied as she failed to show that Williams was a threat to her safety.
Orndorff would be told, “The protection order statute is not intended to prohibit behavior that might occur in the future.”
“What I have to do is listen to the facts and determine if there is an emergency, did something happen last night,” Judge Van Meter explained to Orndorff. “At this time, Ms. Orndorff, I do not find legal basis to issue an order of protection against domestic violence.”
Williams was advised to avoid contact with Orndorff by his attorney.
Williams explained to the RGJ that his “extramarital affair” did not begin until he was no longer her coach. Orndorff’s video claims differently.
He explained to the RGJ, “Looking back now, there are a thousand things I wish could have done differently. I wasn’t in a good place in my life and I had an affair with someone I cared about.”
Orndorff was honest with the RGJ, explaining that she has struggled with opioid addiction over the years after receiving injuries from playing sports.
She was charged in 2011 with felony possession charges for a controlled substance but the charges were dismissed in 2013 after she completed a drug rehabilitation program.
In her last video, Orndorff apologized profusely to many individuals regarding this incident. She had her mother in attendance for support.
The Independent-News reached out to Orndorff and Williams for comment. None was given.