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Basketball Player Profiles Kelly Williams

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Kelly Williams is a Filipino-American professional basketball player best known for his explosive dunks and dynamic plays. Williams is currently playing for the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) Talk n' Text Phone Pals after a blockbuster trade that is speculated to paved the way for Williams being loaned to the Smart Gilas RP-Developmental Team.

Williams was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 2, 1982 to a Filipina mother and an American father thus, giving him Fil-Am status and allowing him to play in Asia's first ever play-for-pay league.

In high school, the 6-foot-7 athletic forward, suited up for the Martin Luther King High School. Throughout his four-year playing career with MLKHS's varsity team, Williams led the team in multiple categories and was instrumental to an outstanding four-year record of 68-16. 

In college, Williams attended the Oakland University where he played for four years and played a pivotal role in the team's offense and defense, ranking as one of the team leaders in several statistical categories.

In 2004, Williams was spotted by then Philippine National Team Head Coach Chot Reyes and the latter was amazed with the work ethic and stellar play of Williams. Reyes invited Williams to try out for the Philippine Team and the high-flying forward did not hesitate, ensuing his arrival at the local basketball scene.

After displaying superb skills in exhibition games with the Philippine Team, Williams caught the attention of Filipino basketball aficionados, awarding him the title as the next big thing in Philippine basketball. Hence, Williams did not disappoint as he averaged 17.1 points and 12.8 rebounds during his stint with the Philippine Basketball League's (PBL) Magnolia.

In 2006, the Sta Lucia Realtors who owns the PBA's first overall draft pick and was known to be the only pure-Filipino team, the sole PBA team which does not sport a Filipino-American player, selected Williams as the first overall pick passing out on celebrated small forward, two-time UAAP MVP Arwind Santos.

Williams played terrific basketball during his rookie season averaging 17.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG while playing close to 40 minutes per outing. Williams won the season's Rookie of the Year Award despite stiff competition from Santos and La Salle superstar Joseph Yeo.

In just his second year in the league, Williams won the season's MVP trophy and was named to be part of the PBA-backed Powerade-Team Pilipinas which played and won several international tournaments.

In the middle of the 2008-2009 PBA season, Williams was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia and was sidelined for the rest of the season. The next year, Williams quick recovery made the way for his anticipated return to the PBA. Upon his comeback, Williams averaged career highs in rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and field goal percentage.

In the middle of the 2009-2010 Fiesta Conference Williams together with Ryan Reyes and Charles Waters was traded to the Talk n' Text Phone Pals in exchange of Ali Peek, Nic Belasco and Yousif Aljamal. Basketball aficionados believe that such move was made in an effort for Williams to be loaned to the Smart Gilas RP-Developmental Team.

More about this author: John Louie Ramos

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