It didn’t really matter what you called Chris Williams (199-F/G-80, college: Virginia) some called him big smooth or chris cross, but one could have come up with thousands of names for his amazing athletic game as he owned the paint area as he was nearly unstopable, but today the former Frankfurt Skyliner passed away due to blood clotting to the heart at the age of 36. It didn’t matter where he played in school or in the pros, he was a winner putting up great stats everywhere he went and won titles in Australia, Germany and Korea in a 11 year professional career. In Germany, fans will remember him as not only one of the top power forwards in the BBL, but one of the best players in the league from 2003-2005. He was instrumental in the Opel Skyliners winning the 2004 BBL league title and reaching the final in 2005 as he formed the dangerous and very feared Bermuda triangle with American Tyrone Ellis and German national player Pascal Roller.
One guy that remembers him still is current Colgate assistant coach Michael Jordan who had a standout career in Europe and battled Williams with the Artland Dragons from 2003-2005. “Chris was a good player but an even better person. We had some good battles and good times in Europe. He will be missed”, stressed Michael Jordan. Williams wasn’t only top on the court, but was a genuine great guy that always wanted to help the best way he could and had a heart of gold. Ex Licher Basket Baeren guard Jermale Jones was best friends with Chris William’s brother, but remembers Chris in only the best way. “Chris was such a great guy. He was always willing to help people no matter what it was. He was a giver in all aspects. Chris is a guy you would want to be friends with because of his personality and the way he carried himself. Chris tried to help me in every way to help me sign my first deal overseas but it was hard for him to get me a job cause I had no experience at the time and just last summer he was trying to get me signed in the China league. He always wanted to help”, stressed Jermale Jones.
Williams was a southern boy from Alabama that went on to have an illustious career at Virginia (NCAA) from 1998-2002 where he played a total of 119 NCAA games and was top 10 in scoring in the ACC each season. Williams will be rememebred as one of the all-time greats at Virgina as he was eighth in scoring, ninth in rebounding and blocks and third in steals. He has the school record for most points by a freshman as he dropped 34 points against Liberty on December 8, 1998. Williams led the team in scoring during the 1999-2000 season and was elected to the ACC 3rd team in 1999 and 2001, and to the ACC 2nd team in 2000.
Williams started his professional career in 2002 with the Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL) playing 38 games averaging 23.6ppg, 12.1rrpg, 4.3apg showing that he was destined for greatness. He led Sydney to the NBL title and was crowned finals MVP. This amazing rookie season turned heads in Europe and Frankfurt head coach Gordon Herbert was quickest snaping up the American as he helped the Skyliners win the league title in 2004 and reach the final in 2005. His stats were great as in his title season he played 7 ULEB cup games averaging 14.4ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.1apg, 1.4spg and in the German Bundesliga played 24 games averaging 15.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.6apg, 1.7spg, 2.5bpg. In his second season with Frankfurt, he played 14 Euroleague games averaging 18.9ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.7apg, 2.7spg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP:13.0%; and in the German Bundesliga:played 44 games: Score-2 (19.2ppg), Reb-2 (9.8rpg), 3.9apg, Steals-2 (2.3spg), 3.1bpg, 2FGP: 56.2%, 3FGP: 19.5%.
After his very productive stay with Frankfurt, he was impossible to be retained as his value rose and many thought he would make the next step to an Euroleague team which he rightfully deserved, but instead went to Mobis Phoebus (South Korea-KBL) and got an offer he couldn’t refuse. There he tore up the league and won the 2007 Korean KBL title. After two seasons in Asia, he came back to Europe and signed with Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL) as in the Turkish League he played 36 games averaging 12.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP:57.5%, 3PT:25.0%, FT:69.0%;and in ULEB Cup played 12 games averaging 14.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 3.1apg, Steals-1 (2.7spg), FGP: 67.9%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 52.5%. He won the Turkish cup that season. Instead of staying in Europe, he went back to Asia where he got the most lucrative offers and played with Qingdao Double Star (China-CBA) putting up astronomical stats as in his first season averaged 27.7ppg, 11.3rpg, 5.5apg, Steals-2 (4.3spg), 1.3bpg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 21.2%, FT: 68.3% and in his second season averaged 23.9ppg, 9.1rpg, 3.5apg, Steals-1 (3.8spg), FGP: 59.4%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 65.1%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Mahram Tehran (Iran-Superleague) playing Asian Club Championships playing 7 games: Score-2 (24.4ppg), 6.9rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-3 (1.6spg), FGP: 70.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.8%. In the 2011-2012 season he signed with Goyang Orions (Korea-KBL) playing 53 games: Score-5 (23.7ppg), 10.0rpg, Assists-1 (6.0apg), Steals-1 (2.5spg), 1.3bpg, FGP-3 (62.1%), 3PT: 18.3%, FT: 75.2%. In his last professional season 2012-2013, he played with Foolad Mahan Esfahan (Iran-Superleague) Score-2 (18.6ppg), Reb-3 (7.6rpg), Assists-3 (3.3apg), Steals-2 (2.9spg), FGP: 52.5%, 3PT-3 (43.8%), FT: 65.8%. Williams will be remembered in every place he played in his career and in Germany fans will never forget him and he goes down as one of the three best Frankfurt Skyliners of all-time together with Pascal Roller and Jordan Theodore. One of his trade marks off the court in Frankfurt was wearing his New York Yankees cap side ways and he surely will be sporting it nicely in heaven.