Rob Williams (basketball)
May 5, 1961|
|Died||March 10, 2014
|Listed height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Milby (Houston, Texas)|
|NBA draft||1982 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19th overall|
|Selected by the Denver Nuggets|
|1984–1985||Louisville Catbirds (CBA)|
|1984–1985||Lancaster Lightning (CBA)|
|1985||Long Island Knights (USBL)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Robert Aaron Williams (May 5, 1961 – March 10, 2014), was an American former professional basketball player who was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the first round (19th overall) of the 1982 NBA draft.
A 6-foot-2 point guard from the University of Houston, Williams played in two National Basketball Association (NBA) seasons for the Nuggets. When Williams reported to Denver's training camp as a rookie, he was badly out of shape, prompting Nuggets coach Doug Moe to describe Williams as "a fat little hog".
Williams' collegiate career included a trip to the NCAA Final Four, where his Houston Cougars, better known as Phi Slama Jama, fell to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the National Semifinals.
A former star at Milby High School in Houston, Williams was an electrifying player for the University of Houston, averaging 16 points per game as a freshman, 25 per game as a sophomore, and 21 points per game for the 1982 Final Four team. Williams was an All American and perennial All Southwest Conference performer. His collegiate teammates included Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Michael Young, Benny Anders and Larry Micheaux among others.
In his NBA career, Williams played in 153 games and scored a total of 1,319 points. Following his brief NBA career, he played professionally in the Continental Basketball Association, Italy, Australia, Spain, and the Philippines.
In 1986, Williams strutted his wares as an import for Tanduay Rhum in the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) Reinforced Conference that year, where teams were allowed to suit up two imports no taller than 6 ft 3 in. Along with partner Andre McKoy and local superstars Ramon Fernandez, Freddie Hubalde and Willie Generalao, among others, the flamboyant and sweet-shooting Williams led Tanduay to its first championship in franchise history. In the season-ending Open Conference, where teams were allowed to play two imports, one not taller than 6 ft 6 in and another no taller than 6 ft 3 in, Williams was rehired by Tanduay and paired with his Phi Slamma Jamma brother Benny Anders. However, Anders was sent home after only one game for being out of shape. Andy Thompson, brother of then Los Angeles Lakers forward Mychal, was brought in as a replacement for Anders. But Tanduay would only finish third behind eventual champion Ginebra San Miguel, which boasted of the devastating combo of former Portland Trail Blazers player Billy Ray Bates and Michael Hackett, and Manila Beer, which had another Houston Cougar alumnus in Michael Young and Harold Keeling.
In a May 2005 Houston Chronicle story, Williams admitted using drugs while he played. He suffered a stroke in January 1998 that left him blind in his left eye and partially paralyzed along the left side of his body.
In March 2014, Rob Williams died due to congestive heart failure.
Since 2005, Williams and his wife had operated a care facility for mentally-challenged adults in Katy, Texas.
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com
- Basketballreference.com page
- Rob Williams' death