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Sylvester Williams (born January 26, 1958) is a retired American basketball player. Born in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1979 he was drafted 21st overall by the New York Knicks and he played parts of seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, appearing in 305 regular season games and seven in the playoffs. In 1985 he signed for the Celtics, but was released on December 2 after a number of personal issues. The Celtics went on to win the 1986 NBA Finals in his absence. As a member of the Knicks, Williams was the last player to wear No. 33 before Patrick Ewing.[1]

Sly Williams
Personal information
Born (1958-01-26) January 26, 1958 (age 61)
New Haven, Connecticut
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolLee (New Haven, Connecticut)
CollegeRhode Island (1976–1979)
NBA draft1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21st overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career1979–1985
PositionSmall forward / Shooting guard
Number33, 35
Career history
19791983New York Knicks
19831985Atlanta Hawks
1985Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points3,327 (10.9 ppg)
Rebounds1,287 (4.2 rpg)
Assists603 (2.0 apg)
Stats at

Williams was highly recruited as an All American out of Lee High School in New Haven, Connecticut He averaged 31 points and 22 rebounds per game his senior year, leading his team to the Connecticut state title. He was highly recruited out of High School by schools such as the University of Rhode Island (URI), Providence College, University of Texas, University of Georgia, University of Connecticut and others. He verbally committed to Providence College and is credited with intensifying the rivalry between the URI and Providence College after signing a letter of intent to attend URI the first day of his fall semester, when he was supposed to arrive at Providence. He spent his whole college career attending URI.

In August 2002 he pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges after allegedly holding a woman captive for about 24 hours and threatening her with a knife in September 2001, and raping a second woman in January 2002.[2] The cases were consolidated and Williams was charged with first-degree rape, sodomy and first-degree kidnapping.[2] He was sentenced to up to five years in prison.[2] Williams was working for a pipe and plastics company at the time of his arrest.[2]


  1. ^ "What the Hell Happened to...Sly Williams?". Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Former NBA player pleads guilty to kidnapping

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