Frank Williams


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Frank Lowell Williams (born February 25, 1980) is an American former professional basketball player. As a point guard, Williams starred at both the high school and collegiate levels, and played briefly in the NBA.

Williams attended Manual High School in Peoria, Illinois, where he was a member of one of the most heralded teams in the nation. Williams led Peoria Manual to the final two of four consecutive IHSA class AA boys state basketball tournaments, in 1996 as a sophomore and again in 1997 as a junior. In both tournaments, Williams was named to the five-player All-Tournament team. As a senior, Williams was named the 1998 Illinois Mr. Basketball. After high school, Williams attended the University of Illinois, and played three seasons for the Fighting Illini under head coach Bill Self, leading the team to a string of NCAA Tournament appearances. After the 2000-2001 season, Williams was named the Big Ten player of the year, and received the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball award. While at Illinois, Williams was re-united with high school teammates Marcus Griffin and Sergio McClain, (a.k.a. "The Peoria 3") where they earned a number one seed and eventually went to the Elite 8 in 2001. Williams' high school coach, Wayne McClain (Sergio's father) also was named assistant coach for the Illini during his time there. He was elected to the "Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team" in 2004. In 2007, Williams was voted one of the "100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament," recognizing his superior performance in his appearance in the tournament.

The New York Knicks acquired Williams in a draft-day trade in 2002 from the Denver Nuggets. He played sparingly in his first season, but found a bit more time on the court during the first half of the 2003-04 season. Unfortunately, new GM Isiah Thomas then traded for star point guard Stephon Marbury, and Williams was relegated back to the end of the bench. The Chicago Bulls acquired him as part of a multi-player trade in the next off-season, where Williams was popular due to his time with the Illini, and expected him to compete with Kirk Hinrich for the starting point guard job, but he showed up to training camp out of shape and spent most of the 2004-05 season on injured reserve. Dissatisfied with his effort, Chicago announced that he would not be re-signed for the next season. Williams signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on October 1, 2005 but was released four days later.

On June 10, 2009, Williams and his younger brother, Aaron, were arrested on drug charges at his Peoria, Illinois home after agents seized 78 grams of marijuana, a digital scale and a .40 caliber handgun. Frank Williams was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

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