Ray Williams, former guard for the New York Knicks and University of Minnesota basketball team, passed away at the age of 58. He died after losing to an ongoing battle with colon cancer. Here’s the top ten facts you need to know about Ray Williams, his death, and his career highlights:
1. Ray Williams Was Diagnosed With Colon Cancer
NJ.com reported that Ray Williams had been diagnosed with colon cancer since last year. He passed away from the disease while he stayed in medical care at Manhattan’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His diagnosis was made public last year.
2. A Journalist and A Former College Teammate Tweeted About His Death
Former Knicks guard Ray Williams, who was brought to NYC for his final days by the Knicks, has passed away according to the team.
— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) March 22, 2013
Very sad day Ray Williams friend former teammate at Minnesota and best athlete to step on court at The Barn passed away this morning RIP
— Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders) March 22, 2013
A journalist who covers the New York Knicks and a former Minnesota Golden Gophers’ teammate of Williams tweeted out the unfortunate news.
3. He Was Having Financial Problems
Boston.com put out a story in 2011 that brought attention to Williams’ financial issues. Williams was unemployed and living out of his car in Pompana Beach, Florida. Williams made money for himself by fishing in the nearby Hillsboro Inlet Park in Pompano Beach. In November 2010, Williams ended up leaving for his hometown (Mount Vernon, NY) and finding a new job as a recreation specialist for the NY’s Recreation Department. Williams ended up marrying a registered nurse by the name of Linda Crawford.
4. He Played for the University of Minnesota
Williams played for the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers from 1975 to 1977. His overall scoring record averaged at 18.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg.
5. He Was Drafted By The New York Knicks in 1977
During the 1977 NBA Draft, Williams was drafted in the first round by the New York Knicks as the 10th overall pick. During his fourth season playing alongside the team, he became the team captain. He also reached the NBA Playoffs twice while playing with the Knicks.
6. He Played for the New Jersey Nets in the 80’s
On October 25, 1971, Williams signed on to become a member of the New Jersey Nets. An exchange between the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets resulted in Williams’ position with the Knicks being given to Maurice Lucas. One of his major highlights with the Nets was him scoring 52 points in a 1982 game against the Detroit Pistons. This was the highest scoring game of his career.
7. He Was A Part of the Kansas City Kings
In 1982, Williams was traded to the Kansas City Kings for Phil Ford. He only stayed on with the team for one season before being traded back to the Knicks for Billy Knight for a cash sum. He reached the NBA Playoffs with the Knicks during this trade back season.
8. He Signed On To Be A Part of the Boston Celtics
During the 1984-1985 NBA season, Williams was a free agent. He signed on with the Boston Celtics in exchange for the team getting to select two future draft picks. He reached the NBA Playoffs one last time while playing alongside the legendary Larry Bird.
9. He Played for the Los Angeles Clippers
Williams signed on to play with the Los Angeles Clippers during the 1985-1986 NBA season. In exchange, Boston received a future draft pick. However, Williams didn’t last took long with the Clippers after the team waived him before the season officially began.
10. He Bounced from the Atlanta Hawks to the San Antonio Spurs to the New Jersey Nets
After his short run with the Clippers, Williams became a team member of the Atlanta Hawks. After playing for them for 19 games, he was waived by the team and given a position playing with the San Antonio Spurs. Williams played with the Spurs with 23 games, he was waived once again and was signed up by the Nets. Williams ended up leaving the NBA with a career record of 15.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, and 3.6 rpg.