Honoring the Life and Legacy of John ``Hot Rod’’ Williamsby Representative Cedric L. Richmond
Posted on 2015-12-18
in the house of representatives
Friday, December 18, 2015
Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of John
``Hot Rod'' Williams, a prolific professional basketball player and
Louisiana native. Mr. Williams passed away on December 11, 2015, at the
age of 53.
Mr. Williams was born on August 9, 1962 in Sorrento, Louisiana. His family gave him the nickname Hot Rod for the engine-like sounds he made when he moved about as a baby. As a rising athlete, he played basketball at St. Amant High School before signing with Tulane University.
While playing at Tulane, Mr. Williams was a three-time All-Metro Conference selection, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds. As a junior in 1984, Mr. Williams was the Metro Conference Player of the Year. Mr. Williams remains fourth in Tulane's career scoring with 1,841 points and second in 20-point games with 36.
In 1986, Mr. Williams joined the Cleveland Cavaliers where he was named to the All-Rookie team for the 1986-87 season. He would spend his first nine NBA seasons with the Cavaliers, averaging 11 points and 6.8 rebounds for his career. Mr. Williams was a central figure for the 1988-89 Cavaliers team, which went 57-25 during the regular season, where Michael Jordan's famous last-second jump shot in Game 5 eliminated them in the first-round series. Mr. Williams concluded his 13-year professional career playing with the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.
An active member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, Mr. Williams loved the game of basketball and always tried to give back. Described as a kid from a small town in Louisiana who never changed, the Cavaliers team remembers the basketball star as a ``talented, unselfish, and versatile player and person that earned the respect of everyone around him.'' The Suns described Mr. Williams as a ``humble and gracious man, willing to share his time and fun-loving nature with anyone.'' Mr. Williams may have lost his fight to cancer but his spirit will remain a part of the Sorrento community. Stories like his will show generations of Americans the impact of genuine personality and hard work.
Mr. Speaker, I celebrate the life and legacy of Mr. Williams, a beloved father and example to aspiring athletes everywhere.