Walter Ander "The Wizard" Williams (born April 16, 1970) is a retired American professional basketball player. A sharpshooting 6'8" forward/guard, Williams attended school at the University of Maryland from 1988 to 1992, and is credited by many for resurrecting the school's basketball program which was going through very difficult times.
Born in Washington, D.C., Williams began his Maryland career only two years after the death of star Len Bias and the ensuing scandal that cost Lefty Driesell his job as coach. When Williams arrived at Maryland, the Terrapins were also on the verge of receiving major sanctions from the NCAA due to violations committed by Driesell's successor, Bob Wade that would lead to his resignation. Rather than transfer to another school, Williams chose to remain at Maryland and play under new coach Gary Williams. It was a tremendous boost for the coach, who had to start rebuilding the program from the bottom up while dealing with both the sanctions and tougher academic standards now imposed by the school. Williams was on the Associated Press All-America Second Team as a senior at Maryland in 1991-92, averaging a school-record 26.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals. He scored 20 or more points in 19 straight games and broke Len Bias's single-season point total record at Maryland by chalking up 776 points as a senior.
Williams was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick of the 1992 NBA Draft and was on the 1992-93 NBA All-Rookie Second Team. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA, spending time with the Kings, the Miami Heat, the Toronto Raptors, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks. Williams stands third in Rockets history with a 3-point percentage of .393. Williams averaged double digits in scoring in six of eight NBA seasons and scored 8,385 points in his career.
Williams is known for wearing his socks to his knees, he wore them high in honor of boyhood idol George Gervin.
Williams played on the US team at the 1991 Pan American Games.
Williams participated in the AT&T Shootout during the 1997 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.
He established a $125,000 scholarship fund at Maryland which benefits minority students in honor of his late father, Walter Sr.
Williams appeared in 1996 film Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Walt Williams appeared in the Hootie & the Blowfish music video for the number one song "Only Wanna Be with You".
- ^ Mavs sign Williams to fill small forward void
By Dean Hanley
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