Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday…John Williamson


John Williamson

While at Wilbur Cross High School, Williamson played on the Connecticut state champion teams of 1966-67, 1967–68 and was runner up to crosstown rival Hillhouse in 1968-69, losing 76-71 in the final. For his senior (1969–70) year, Williamson led the nation in scoring with a gaudy 38.7 points per game average. His team was upset in a semi-final match against Bridgeport Central, with an ending score of 105-103. Cross previously won over Central in the 1968 title game in a 123-82 game.

Williamsons’ teammates, Alex Scott 24 points, and Clint Davis 40 points, led the way in the romp for Cross’ third consecutive title. Williamson chipped in 17, which was his average that year. He went on to team up with Scott and Davis at New Mexico State University where he averaged 27 points per game his sophomore and junior years. In the final regular season game of 69-70 Cross played St. Anthony’s Catholic of Washington, DC. They were the no. 1 team in the DC metro area and one of the top five in the country. Coached by Georgetown’s John Thompson, Cross was a huge underdog. All-America player Williamson scored 36 points and fellow all-stater Danny Hardy had 22 to pace the Governors to a 74-66 win. In that game, John Thompson took his team off the floor and to the locker room with about two and a half minutes remaining in protest over officiating, and not return. During this season, Williamson had a string of nine straight games in which he scored 40 or more points.

As a rookie, Williamson landed with the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association as a free agent for the 1973-74 season. Williamson quickly entered the New York starting lineup despite being a rookie. After Williamson became a starter, the team’s fortunes quickly turned for the better and the team ended up winning the ABA Championship that season. Williamson was named to the 1974 ABA All-Rookie team.

Continuing with the Nets, Williamson, in Game 6 of the 1976 ABA Finals, scored 28 points, with 16 of them coming in the fourth quarter; this lead the Nets to come back from 22 points behind to win the game, the series and the ABA championship.

Williamson’s jersey number (23) was retired by the New York/New Jersey Nets franchise on December 7, 1990; Williamson is one of four players who were with the Nets during their ABA days with a retired number; the other three include Wendell Ladner, Bill Melchionni, and Julius Erving.

In 1977, Williamson was traded to the Indiana Pacers midseason; in the middle of the next season he went back to the Nets. In the 1980 season he went from the Nets to the Washington Bullets where he finished his eight year career during the 1981 season.

In his ABA/NBA career Williamson scored 9,017 points. He averaged between 11.5 and 29.5 points in every ABA/NBA season except for his last.

Williamson still holds Nets team records in various categories, including most free throw attempts in a game, with 24 (since tied by Vince Carter and Devin Harris).

At the age of 45, Williamson died of kidney failure related to diabetes on November 30, 1996.
Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday salutes …Super John Williamson.

Career history
1973–1977 New York Nets (ABA and NBA)
1977–1978 Indiana Pacers
1978–1980 New Jersey Nets
1981 Washington Bullets
1982 Las Vegas Silvers
Career highlights and awards

2× ABA Champion (1974, 1976)
ABA All-Rookie First Team (1974)
No. 23 retired by Brooklyn Net

Published by bklynboy59

Welcome to Smallthoughtsinasportsworld. We keep it fun and we keep interesting and informative. On Tuesdays we go back in time with Old School Tuesdays, on Thursdays we keep it fun by Smallthoughts Trivia Thursday and on Fridays ...it is Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week and Smallthoughts:Rave of the Week and we also post the answer from Smallthoughts:Trivia Thursday. I am a lifelong New York Mets, Knicks and Jets and Giants fan. I root hard for my teams and have rooted for them even when it wasn't and in some cases still isn't easy. I enjoy talking sports, and on here I get to write about it as well. I have my thoughts hence Small thoughts, we will not always agree, but respectfully speak about what we feel. I invite your comments and feedback as well. You can also follow me on twitter @bklynboy59 and facebook Jerry bklynboy Small

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