Former NBA star and University of Maryland legend, Walt “Wizard” Williams recently responded to the tragic events surrounding the death of fellow NBA colleague, Kobe Bryant. (Timothy Cox Photo).
By Timothy Cox
Editor In Chief
Special to Seventies-Soul-Report.com
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND — Following a recent exciting Big 10 Conference basketball game between conference rivals Maryland Terrapins and the Iowa Hawkeyes on Jan. 30, 2020, former Maryland star forward/guard Walt Williams responded to the recent tragic events involving one of his fellow NBA colleagues, Kobe Bryant.
Said Williams, “I can’t say I really knew Kobe all that well, but as a competitor, it was amazing how he seemed to improve year after year. That’s what really stood out to me, about him. It’s really a sad situation and I pray for his family and all the other people who were involved.” said Williams, a Washington, DC native who spent 11 productive seasons in the NBA after starring at the University of Maryland.
As with the Jan. 26, 2020 fatally-tragic helicopter crash involving Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant and their family friends, Walt Williams too – is no stranger to tragic events.
According to published reports, Williams, a Crossland High School (Temple Hills, Md.) graduate, is often credited with helping to resurrect the Maryland basketball program, after the tragic drug-related death of legendary Terrapin, Lenny Bias and the ensuing scandal that resulted in the dismissal of longtime Maryland head coach, Charles “Lefty” Driessel.
In addition to Williams’ words of condolences for the Bryants, just four days after the tragic air crash, the entire Xfinity Center on Maryland’s campus was symbolically shrouded with sadness on this particular evening. Prior to the game, the PA announcer acknowledged the fatal helicopter incident in Southern California to the nearly sold-out 18,000 seat arena, in addition to the Jan. 21 death of Morgan Wooten, the Hall of Fame basketball coach from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Bryant’s Lower Merion High School Aces won the 1995 PIAA (Pennsylvania) State Championship in Hershey, Pa. when he was a senior, shortly before he committed to playing in the NBA.
Williams retired after playing with several teams including the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. He was selected in the first round of the 1992 draft as the seventh pick of the Sacramento Kings.
Formerly known as Walt the “Wizard” during his heydays, Williams, now 49, is a member of the Maryland University basketball media relations staff where he serves as a sideline radio broadcast reporter. He’s also a financial advisor.Notably, the final score of the recent game found the Terps edging the Hawkeyes by a score of 82-72, with Anthony Cowan Jr. scoring 31 points for the home team.