Ex-Gopher basketball star Ray Williams dies at 58


Ray Williams, a Gopher basketball star from the mid-1970s, passed away Friday after battling colon cancer.

Williams, a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., played for the University of Minnesota between 1975 and 1977 where he averaged 18.9 points per game along with 6.6 rebounds as a guard.

He played alongside other Gopher greats including Kevin McHale, Mychal Thompson and Flip Saunders.

After the Gophers, Williams was drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft. He would go on to have a ten year career as an NBA point guard, averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 assists per contest.

His professional career led him around the country, as he played for six different teams in his career before finishing with the New Jersey Nets.

Williams went bankrupt after the NBA and was forced to live in a car as recently as 2010 — but former teammates Larry Bird and McHale helped Williams find a job and a home.

Williams was 58 years old.

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