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Williams ponders next move

July 25, 2012

Latavious Williams, a former Starkville High School player, dunks the basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder during an NBA summer league game earlier this month in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by John Raoux, AP)

Former Starkville High School basketball player Latavious Williams still has visions of playing in the National Basketball Association.

It's just taking longer than expected for Williams to reach that point, and the path has taken him from Starkville, to Houston, Texas, to Tulsa and even overseas to Spain.

Williams is participating in the Oklahoma City Thunder's Summer League team, while pondering his next career move.

The NBA's Thunder, which played in the Finals last season against the Miami Heat, may not have enough room on its roster for Williams.

That could mean another season overseas for the former Yellowjacket.
Even though Williams was not available for comment, his former high school basketball coach saw him in June and shared some of his thoughts.

"He is (positive)," Starkville boys coach Greg Carter said. "The last time I talked to him was back during the NBA playoffs. He had just got home and was here for a week, then he left, went to Oklahoma City and he's been out there working out. (The Thunder) were in the second round of the playoffs at the time and they kept him out there until the playoffs ended just working out which was about a week before the draft so they kept him out there until after the draft.

"They had the rookie free agent camp and he participated in that. They wanted him to stay for training camp, but he didn't know if he was going to do that or not. That team is pretty much loaded. He's thinking he may have to play one more year overseas and thinks he can get in (the NBA)."

Williams has played one year for FIATC Spain after signing a one-year deal on August 23, 2011.

After playing at SHS, Williams played for the Tulsa 66ers in the NBA Developmental League, a minor league basketball organization owned and run by the NBA.

Williams was drafted by the Miami Heat with the 48th pick of the 2010 Draft one year later, then his draft rights were traded to Oklahoma City. The Thunder did not sign Williams so he went back to the Development League and the 66ers, which is an affiliate of the Thunder.

Williams is the first player to skip college to play a year in the Developmental League and get drafted by the NBA.

During his senior season with the Jackets, Williams averaged 19.9 points, 14.5 rebounds and five blocked shots and led them to the Class 5A semifinals.

After SHS, he attended Christian Life Center Academy in Houston, Texas, to meet college requirements. He had committed to Memphis, but failed to qualify academically. He opted not to play overseas after skipping college and went directly into the Developmental League.

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