Walt Williams

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Walt Williams
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Walt Williams
Position: Forward
Height: 6'8"
Weight: 219
Nationality: American
Born: 4/16/70
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Draft: Round 1
Drafted By: Sacramento
College: University of Marlyand
NBA Career: 1992-2003
Mavs Tenure: 2002-2003

Walt Williams (born April 16, 1970 in Washington D.C.) was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks on October 18, 2002.

Williams played college basketball at the University of Maryland where his scoring average rose each season from 7.3 ppg as a freshman to a staggering 26.8 ppg his senior campaign. Between his junior and senior years, Williams played on the 1991 Bronze Medal-winning United States team in the Pan American games held in Havana, Cuba.

Upon his return he lit up the Atlantic Coast Conference by scoring 20-or-more points in 19 straight games and being named as an NCAA AP All-American second team. Today, he still ranks as 11th all time in points, 8th in scoring average, 10th in assists 8th in steals and 6th in 3-PT FG made in Terps' history. It was no surprise, upon graduation, that Williams was selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1992 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.

Interestingly, his best statistical season came his rookie year as he averaged 17.0 points in 59 games for the Kings and was selected as second team NBA All-Rookie. Although his production dropped slightly his second year, to 11.2 points, he raised it back in his third full season in the league, averaging 16.4 points in 77 games.

The 6'8 forward began the 1995-1996 campaign with Sacramento seeing action in 45 games before being traded on February 22, 1996, along with Tyrone Corbin to the Miami Heat for Kevin Gamble and Billy Owens. Williams appeared in 28 games with the Heat averaging 12.0 ppg and helping Miami to the playoffs.

The Heat released Williams during the off-season and he signed with Toronto before training camp. He played for the Raptors just over two seasons before being included as part of a 6-player/3-draft choice deal with Portland. He completed 1998 with the Blazers averaging 8.4 points over 31 games and helping them to a playoff appearance. The next season, he raised his scoring average to 8.4 ppg and, again, helped lead Portland into the NBA Playoffs. Just prior to the opening of the 1999-2000 season, however, Williams was dealt with five other Trail Blazers to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Scottie Pippin.

Finding a home with the Rockets, Williams stayed with Houston for three full seasons, longer than he had been anywhere since he began his NBA career in Sacramento. His scoring average returned to double digits in his first season with the Rockets as he averaged 10.9 points in 76 games. He played out his contract after the 2001-2002 season and became a free agent.

On October 18, 2002, he signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks. In 66 games, Williams averaged 6.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.6 minutes-per-game. He was an integral part of the Mavs playoff drive that season and in the 2003 postseason averaged 5.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 15.1 minutes over 15 games as Dallas advanced to the Western Conference Finals ultimately losing in six games to the San Antonio Spurs. The 2002-2003 season would prove to be Williams' final professional season.

He has been honored by the University of Maryland as an inductee to their Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. Today, Williams runs the Walt Williams Foundation (www.waltwilliams.org) which provides support and assistance to cancer patients and their families. The Foundation also supports non-profit organizations that provide support, research and education to cancer patients.