Maurice “Mo” Williams, a star point guard for Alabama basketball under coach Mark Gottfried and a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship team, has been named the new men’s head coach at Alabama State University.
ASU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jennifer Lynne Williams made the announcement on Tuesday. Mo Williams replaces Lewis Jackson, who coached the Hornets to an 8-24 record in 2019-20 “We are excited about the direction of our men’s basketball program as we moved forward into this new era,” AD Williams said. “Mo Williams checked the boxes that we were looking for in the next head coach of Alabama State men’s basketball, and his passion and leadership speak volumes. He is no stranger to the South, having played high school basketball in Mississippi and college basketball in Alabama.
Williams, a decorated NBA veteran, comes to Alabama State after a two-year stint at California State University at Northridge (CSUN), where he served as an assistant coach on Gottfried’s staff. During his time with the Matadors, the team led the Big West in scoring in each of the last two seasons while the team has broken several school single-season records, including 3-point field goals made (243, 2019-20 season), least turnovers (364, 2019-20 season), field goals made (968, 2018-19 season) and blocked shots (154, 2018-19 season).
“It’s a great day to be a Hornet,” Mo Williams said. “I am extremely excited to become part of the family, and I am looking forward to the challenge. Go Hornets!”
Williams played for Alabama from 2001-03, helping to lead UA to the SEC regular season title as a freshman. He was named Sporting News National Freshman of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year in 2002, as he guided the team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He would go on to post a career-best 16.4 points per game during his sophomore season before entering the 2003 NBA Draft.
Drafted by Utah, Williams would play his rookie season with the Jazz before spending the next four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. Williams played three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2008-11) where he teamed up with LeBron James and helped the Cavs post a league-best 66 wins in 2008-09. Williams was selected to the NBA All-Star Game in his first season with Cleveland.
After stints with the Los Angeles Clippers (2011-12), Portland Trail Blazers (2013-14), Minnesota Timberwolves (2014-15) and Charlotte Hornets (2015), Williams returned to Cleveland for the 2015-16 campaign. In his final season in the NBA, Williams and the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in seven games to win the 2016 NBA Finals.
A virtual press conference will be held next week to welcome coach Williams to ASU.
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