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John Williamson (basketball, born 1951)

John Lee Williamson ((1951-11-10)November 10, 1951 – November 30, 1996) was an American basketball player. He helped the New York Nets win two league championships in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in the 1970s.[1]

John Williamson
Personal information
Born(1951-11-10)November 10, 1951
New Haven, Connecticut
DiedNovember 30, 1996(1996-11-30) (aged 45)
New Haven, Connecticut
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolWilbur Cross
(New Haven, Connecticut)
CollegeNew Mexico State (1971–1973)
NBA draft1973 / Round: 6 / Pick: 96th overall
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks
Playing career1973–1982
PositionShooting guard
Number23
Career history
19731977New York Nets
19771978Indiana Pacers
19781980New Jersey Nets
1980Washington Bullets
1982Las Vegas Silvers
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points9,017 (17.5 ppg)
Rebounds1,274 (2.5 rpg)
Assists1,441 (2.8 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Williamson played high school basketball at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut and played college basketball at New Mexico State University. He was a 6'2" guard. He was nicknamed "Super John" for his highly efficient jump shooting.[2]

While at Wilbur Cross High School, Williamson played on the Connecticut state champion teams of 1966–67, 1967–68 and was runner up to crosstown rival Hillhouse in 1968–69, losing 76-71 in the final. For his senior (1969–70) year, Williamson led the nation in scoring with a gaudy 38.7 points per game average. His team was upset in a semi-final match against Bridgeport Central, with an ending score of 105-103. Cross previously won over Central in the 1968 title game in a 123-82 game.

Williamsons's teammates, Alex Scott (scored 24 points), and Clint Davis (scored 40 points), led the way in the romp for Cross's third consecutive title. Williamson chipped in 17, which was his average that year. He went on to team up with Scott and Davis at New Mexico State University where he averaged 27 points per game his sophomore and junior years. In the final regular season game of 69-70 Cross played St. Anthony's Catholic of Washington, D.C.. They were the no. 1 team in the DC metro area and one of the top five in the country. Coached by Georgetown's John Thompson, Cross was a huge underdog. All-America player Williamson scored 36 points and fellow all-stater Danny Hardy had 22 to pace the Governors to a 74-66 win. In that game, John Thompson took his team off the floor and to the locker room with about two and a half minutes remaining in protest over officiating, and not return. During this season, Williamson had a string of nine straight games in which he scored 40 or more points.

As a rookie, Williamson landed a roster spot with the New York Nets of the ABA as a free agent for the 1973–74 season. Before signing with the ABA Nets, he had been eligible for the NBA draft that year, being selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the 6th round with the 96th pick, but didn't make the cut for their roster.[3] Despite being a rookie, Williamson quickly entered the New York starting lineup along with superstar Julius Erving and rising star rookie Larry Kenon (who would get traded a couple years later). After Williamson became a starter, the team's fortunes quickly turned for the better and the team ended up winning the ABA Championship that season. Williamson was named to the 1974 ABA All-Rookie team.

Continuing with the Nets, Williamson, in Game 6 of the 1976 ABA Finals, scored 28 points with 16 of them coming in the fourth quarter; both him and Julius Erving offensively carried the team, combining for 59 points (31 of them from Erving) leading the Nets to come back from 22 points behind to win the game, the series and the ABA championship.

In the 1976–77 season, Williamson was traded to the Indiana Pacers midseason; in the middle of the next season he was traded back to the Nets. In the 1979–80 season he was traded from the Nets to the Washington Bullets which would be the last team he played for before the end of his NBA career until the 1980–81 season. By this time Williamson had completely declined as a player despite being only 29 years old and wouldn't return to the NBA after that season due to contract disagreements in free agency and not maintaining a healthy weight to play.[2]

In 1982, he would play for the CBA Las Vegas Silvers in an attempt to get recruited back into the NBA but never received any offers.[4]

After professional basketball, Williamson would end up working in a juvenile detention center back in his hometown New Haven, Connecticut.[2]

In his ABA/NBA career Williamson scored 9,017 points. He averaged between 11.5 and 29.5 points in every ABA/NBA season except for his last.

Williamson still holds Nets team records in various categories, including most free throw attempts in a game, with 24 (since tied by Vince Carter and Devin Harris).[5]

Williamson's jersey number (23) was retired[6] by the New York/New Jersey Nets franchise on December 7, 1990; Williamson is one of four players who were with the Nets during their ABA days with a retired number; the other three include Wendell Ladner, Bill Melchionni, and Julius Erving.

At age 45, Williamson died of kidney failure related to diabetes on November 30, 1996. He is survived by his wife Bertha Williamson and his four children.[7]

Contents

ABA and NBA career statisticsEdit

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
Denotes seasons in which Williamson's team won an ABA championship
Bold Denotes career highs

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1973–74 New York (ABA) 77 29.4 .491 .182 .789 2.8 3.2 1.1 0.4 14.5
1974–75 New York (ABA) 75 25.0 .482 .231 .837 2.0 2.6 0.8 0.3 11.5
1975–76 New York (ABA) 76 29.7 .450 .190 .806 2.5 2.5 1.0 0.4 16.2
1976–77 New York 42 40.5 .445 .789 2.8 2.1 1.4 0.1 20.8
1976–77 Indiana 30 38.6 .480 .784 2.5 3.7 1.6 0.2 20.7
1977–78 Indiana 42 34.5 .421 .832 2.9 3.1 1.1 0.0 19.1
1977–78 New Jersey 33 38.8 .454 .857 3.2 2.5 1.4 0.3 29.5
1978–79 New Jersey 74 35.9 .465 .854 2.6 3.4 1.2 0.2 22.2
1979–80 New Jersey 28 27.5 .447 .421 .864 1.9 3.1 0.9 0.3 17.7
1979–80 Washington 30 20.1 .430 .188 .800 1.5 1.3 0.3 0.3 11.6
1980–81 Washington 9 12.4 .321 .167 .833 0.8 1.9 0.4 0.1 4.7
Career 516 30.1 .458 .234 .826 2.5 2.8 1.1 0.3 17.5

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1974 New York (ABA) 14 30.4 .450 .000 .815 3.3 2.9 0.7 0.4 11.9
1975 New York (ABA) 5 23.6 .605 .000 .615 2.0 2.0 0.2 0.6 12.0
1976 New York (ABA) 10 36.0 .497 .333 .696 2.4 2.6 1.0 0.3 22.2
1979 New Jersey 2 46.0 .371 .813 3.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 29.5
1980 Washington 2 15.5 .579 .333 1.000 1.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 13.5
Career 33 31.1 .478 .250 .743 2.7 2.6 0.8 0.4 16.2

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mallozzi, Vincent M. (December 2, 1996). "John Williamson, 44, Nets Star in the 1970's". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Press, Associated (29 March 1987). "Now, Life Is Hardly Super for Williamson" – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Rubin, Roger; Lennon, David (31 October 2006). "The Great New York Sports Debate: Two New York Sportswriters Go Head-to-Head on the 50 Most Heated Questions". Penguin – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Rogers, Thomas. "SPORTS WORLD SPECIALS; Follow-Ups".
  5. ^ "Pistons vs. Nets - Game Recap - November 7, 2008 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  6. ^ "Nets: Retired numbers". NBA. Archived from the original on 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2005-12-06.
  7. ^ "The Legacy Of New Haven's `Super John'".

External linksEdit