Latavious Williams

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Latavious Williams
No. 19 – Bucaneros de La Guaira
Position Power forward / Center
League LPB
Personal information
Born (1989-03-29) March 29, 1989 (age 28)
Starkville, Mississippi
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school Starkville (Starkville, Mississippi)
Christian Life Center Academy
(Humble, Texas)
NBA draft 2010 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48th overall
Selected by the Miami Heat
Playing career 2009–present
Career history
2009–2011 Tulsa 66ers
2011–2012 FIATC Joventut
2012 Metros de Santiago
2012 Brose Baskets
2012–2014 Cajasol Sevilla
2014 Metros de Santiago
2014–2015 Bilbao Basket
2015 Vaqueros de Bayamón
2015–2017 UNICS Kazan
2017–present Bucaneros de La Guaira
Career highlights and awards
  • Liga ACB Most Spectacular Player of the Year (2012)

Latavious Williams (born March 29, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for Bucaneros de La Guaira of the Liga Profesional de Baloncesto (LPB). After graduating from high school, he played with the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League before being drafted by the Miami Heat with the 48th pick in the 2010 NBA draft. After the draft, his draft rights were immediately traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA affiliate of the 66ers.[1] However, the Thunder did not sign him to a contract and Williams returned to the D-League with the 66ers. On February 19, 2015, his draft rights were traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.[2]

Williams was the first player ever to skip college basketball and play a year in the D-League before getting drafted in the NBA. He was also the first player ever to enter into the D-League directly from high school. Williams was, however, the second player to be drafted while playing for a D-League team, as Mike Taylor ended up being drafted a year earlier back in 2009. As of September 2015, Williams has never played a competitive game (regular season or playoff) in the NBA, being one of two D-League draftees to hold such claim (the other being Chukwudiebere Maduabum).

Early life[edit]

Williams was born to Fredrick and Cassandra Neely in Starkville, Mississippi where he grew up.[3]

High school[edit]

Williams played four years at Starkville High School. In his last year at Starkville, he averaged 19.9 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks and led Starkville to the Class 5A state semi-finals. After four years in Starkville, he had completed only 2 of the 16 core courses that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires for eligibility for an athletic scholarship. He then attended Christian Life Center Academy, a private school in Humble, Texas, for a year to complete the 14 other core courses he needed. He continued to play on prep level and averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4 assists and 4 steals for the Christian Life Center Academy.[4][5]

College plans[edit]

After finishing his high school education, Williams intended to play college basketball. He was ranked as one of the top 20 recruits in the 2009 class. In May 2009, he announced his verbal commitment to attend the University of Memphis. He chose Memphis ahead of Georgetown, Kansas State and Florida International. He became Josh Pastner's first recruit as the Memphis Tigers head coach.[6] However, he struggled to qualify academically and later backed out from his commitment to play for Memphis and instead skipped college basketball altogether to play professionally.[3][7] However, a player who attended high school in the United States is not eligible to enter the NBA draft until a year after his high school graduation. He was expected to sign with an overseas team before entering the NBA when he became eligible, a similar path taken by Brandon Jennings who played in the Italian league for a year before he was drafted in 2009.[8]

Professional career[edit]

2009–10 season[edit]

Williams receive several offers from overseas teams, including an offer from the Chinese Basketball Association which were reportedly worth US$100,000.[9][10] However, his family decided against the idea of playing overseas. He opted to play in the D-League, the NBA's official minor league organization. He chose to earn US$19,000 in the D-League because he believed that he would receive more exposure and experience.[4][9][10][11] He entered the D-League Draft and was drafted 16th overall by the Tulsa 66ers. He became the first player ever selected in the D-League Draft directly from high school.[12] Because the NBA requires a player to be one year out of high school to play in the league, he became the only D-League player who could not be called up by any of the NBA teams in the 2009–10 season.

He played as the 66ers backup forward for most of the season, starting only 7 out of 46 games in the regular season. He averaged 7.7 points on 52.8 percent shooting and 7.7 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 16 times and recorded double-figure rebounds in 13 games during the regular season. He also recorded 9 double-doubles in the regular season. He improved his production in the postseason, averaging 11.3 points on 61.2 percent shooting and 8.0 rebounds in seven postseason games. He helped the 66ers advanced to the Finals but they failed to win the championship despite Williams averaging 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the two finals games against Rio Grande Valley Vipers.[13][14]

2010–11 season[edit]

Williams was automatically eligible for the 2010 NBA draft as he was already one year removed from his high school graduation. He was drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round with the 48th pick. He became the first player ever to skip college basketball and play a year in the D-League before getting drafted in the NBA.[15] He also became the second player to be drafted from a D-League team to the NBA, after Mike Taylor in 2008.[14] Shortly after being drafted by the Heat, his draft rights were traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA team affiliated with the Tulsa 66ers, in exchange for a future second-round pick.[1]

He played for the Thunder in the 2010 Orlando Summer League. He played in all five games, averaging 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game.[16] His best game came during the win against the Philadelphia 76ers when he scored 10 points, with 5 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots in 15 minutes off the bench.[17] However, he didn't receive a contract offer or an invitation to the Thunder's training camp for the 2010–11 season.[18]

On October 31, 2010, the Tulsa 66ers announced that Williams would be returning to the team for the 2010–11 season.[19] His rights in the NBA were still held by the Thunder. He went on to average 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in 41 games.[20]

2011–12 season[edit]

On August 23, 2011, Williams signed a one-year contract with Spanish team FIATC Joventut.[21] At the end of the regular season, he earned Most Spectacular Player honors.[22]

Williams was also candidate for the ACB Rising Star Award after averaging 9.6 points and 7.1 rebounds.[23]

2012–13 season[edit]

In July 2012, Williams re-joined the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2012 NBA Summer League. He then joined Metros de Santiago of the Dominican Republic for s short stint before signing a two-month contract with German League and Euroleague team Brose Baskets on October 4.[24] His contract was not extended after it ended in December 2012. He then signed with Cajasol Sevilla of Spain for the rest of the season.[25]

2013–14 season[edit]

Williams returned to Cajasol Sevilla for the 2013–14 season but last just 10 games before being released in January 2014.

2014–15 season[edit]

After serving out another short stint with Metros de Santiago,[26] Williams signed with Bilbao Basket of Spain for the 2014–15 ACB season on August 29.[27]

On June 4, 2015, he signed with Vaqueros de Bayamón of Puerto Rico for the rest of the 2015 BSN season.[28]

2015–16 season[edit]

On July 20, 2015, Williams signed a one-year deal with UNICS Kazan of Russia.[29]

2016–17 season[edit]

On June 16, 2016, Williams re-signed with UNICS for one more season.[30]

On June 2, 2017, he signed with Bucaneros de La Guaira of Venezuela for the rest of the 2017 LPB season.[31]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Domestic leagues[edit]

Season Team League GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2009–10 Tulsa 66ers D-League 54 20.0 .560 .071 .634 7.7 .7 .6 .8 8.2
2010–11 40 26.2 .640 .000 .724 8.6 .5 .6 .9 13.1
2011–12 FIATC Joventut Liga ACB 34 24.6 .597 -- .700 7.1 .4 1.3 .8 9.6
2012 Metros de Santiago Dominican LNB 11 32.3 .620 .333 .843 12.0 1.5 1.4 1.1 16.8
2012–13 Cajasol Liga ACB 14 23.6 .582 .000 .641 6.4 .5 1.1 .4 10.9
2013–14 10 27.7 .649 .000 .500 7.7 .7 .5 .4 10.9
2014–15 Bilbao Basket 36 18.0 .645 -- .623 5.7 .4 .6 .4 7.3
2015 Vaqueros de Bayamón BSN 10 21.8 .620 .000 .586 8.2 .5 .5 .4 10.5

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Thunder Acquires Pleiss, Williams, Reid and Future First Round Pick in 2010 NBA Draft". NBA.com. June 24, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Pelicans Acquire Ish Smith". NBA.com. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "OTL: A New Route To The NBA". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. August 7, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Thamel, Pete (June 22, 2010). "D-League Graduate Sets New Course to the N.B.A. Draft". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "NBA Draft 2010 Prospects - Latavious Williams". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ Wolken, Dan (May 26, 2009). "Prep star Latavious Williams commits to play basketball for Memphis Tigers". The Commercial Appeal. The E.W. Scripps Co. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Memphis recruit Latavious Williams will instead head overseas". USA Today. Gannett Co, Inc. July 22, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ Katz, Andy (July 21, 2009). "Godfrey: Potential money lured Williams". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Forrester, Paul (March 25, 2010). "D-League rookie Williams trying to clear new path toward NBA draft". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Spears, Marc J. (December 5, 2009). "D-League offers option for prep-to-pro players". Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ Cranston, Mike (June 22, 2010). "Williams eyes high school-D-League-NBA route". USA Today. Gannett Co, Inc. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ "2009 NBA D-League Draft Results". NBA.com/DLeague. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. November 5, 2009. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  13. ^ Silva, Chris (July 1, 2010). "Thunder Keeps Williams in Family, Underscores Tulsa Tie". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Latavious Williams Becomes Second Player Drafted By NBA Team". NBA.com/DLeague. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. June 25, 2010. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Non-qualifier Williams selected by Heat". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. June 25, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  16. ^ "2010 NBA Summer League Statistics – Latavious Williams". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  17. ^ Dunlap, Evan (July 7, 2010). "Thunder Hold Off Sixers, 8990, Behind Harden And Mullens As Philly's Turner Struggles Again". SB Nation. Sportblogs, Inc. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Thunder open training camp". USA Today. Gannett Co, Inc. September 28, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  19. ^ "2010 NBA D-League Returning, Affiliate, and Open Tryout Players". NBA.com/DLeague. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. October 30, 2010. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2010. 
  20. ^ Latavious Williams D-League Stats
  21. ^ "Latavious Williams, una roca para la Penya" [Latavious Williams, a rock for Penya]. Marca.com (in Spanish). Unidad Editorial. August 23, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Latavious Williams, Jugador más espectacular KIA" [Latavious Williams, most spectacular player]. ACB.com (in Spanish). May 7, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Jugador Revelación Bifrutas: Conoce a los candidatos" [ACB Rising Star Award. Meet the candidates]. ACB.com (in Spanish). April 13, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Brose Baskets extends Coach Fleming and staff". Euroleague.net. October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  25. ^ Seville tabs Latavious Williams
  26. ^ Latavious Williams signs with Metros de Santiago
  27. ^ Latavious Williams signs with Bilbao
  28. ^ Latavious Williams moves to Vaqueros de Bayamon
  29. ^ "Unics adds size with Williams". Eurocupbasketball.com. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  30. ^ Latavious Williams re-signs with Unics Kazan
  31. ^ Latavius Williams (ex Unics) is a newcomer at Bucaneros

External links[edit]