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With Louisville's NCAA Championship this past Monday, Terrence Williams was reminded not only of his past successes, but of the enormous potential he let slip away. One of the most athletic perimeter players in all of college basketball, he took home All-American honors as a Senior and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the 11th pick in 2009. After a solid rookie year, Williams began to falter when his tardiness and inconsistency cost him his spot in the rotation. He bounced around from New Jersey to Houston to Sacramento and was finally cut by The Detroit Pistons this summer. With few options remaining, he had to move to China to play for the Guangdong Southern Tigers this fall. Despite his tremendous physical ability and strong basketball instincts, Williams feared he might not ever play in The NBA again. Fortunately, he had overcome far greater adversity before.

At only 25 years old, Terrence Williams has been providing for himself for nearly half of his life. He has no memory of his father, who spent time in jail before being murdered on the very day of his release. When he was 12 years old, Williams received a devastating blow when his grandmother - whom he called "The Queen" of the family, died of cancer. However, with the support of his family and the instruction of Coach Mike Bethea, T-Wil was able to persevere and hone his basketball skills. After explosive production at Rainier Beach High School, he went to the power-house University of Louisville to play under head coach Rick Pitino. With his athletic success came more tragedy: in a mere two week span, his best friend, Roland Akers, was killed in a car accident and his beloved grandfather died in his sleep. Yet again, Williams fought through his grief and became a national sensation, putting up big numbers and even making the cover of Sports Illustrated 3 times in a row.

Thus far, Terrence Williams' career has resembled those of many freak athletes who despite phenomenal talent, struggle in The NBA due to attitude issues. Luckily for him, as well as for the Boston faithful, there's still plenty of time to right the ship. After injuries decimated the Celtics roster, #55 capitalized on his second chance when offered a 10-day contract by Danny Ainge. He has shown great energy and determination, gradually winning Doc Rivers' trust to become a valuable supporting piece, not just for this season, but next year as well. The postseason is an extremely grueling battle, but Williams has endured far worse. With the playoffs looming around the corner, Terrence Williams has the perfect opportunity to prove he does indeed belong in The NBA.

Follow Jacob on Twitter @TheReelJZ

Jacob Zweiback 4/10/2013 09:23:00 PM Edit
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