Jayson Williams: Wikis


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Jayson Williams
Power forward-Center
Born February 22, 1968 (1968-02-22) (age 42)
Ritter, South Carolina
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
College St. John's
Draft 21st overall, 1990
Phoenix Suns
Pro career 1990–1999
Former teams Philadelphia 76ers (1990–1992)
New Jersey Nets (1992–1999)
Awards 1997–98 NBA All-Star

Jayson Williams (born February 22, 1968) is an American former professional basketball player. Standing 6 feet, 10 inches tall, he played for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. In 2010, he pled guilty to assault in the shooting death of a limousine driver.



Williams was born in Ritter, South Carolina; he is of Polish, Italian and African-American descent.[1] His father, Elijah Joshua Williams, died of a stroke aged 76 in November 2009. His mother is Barbara.[2] Williams played high school basketball for Christ The King RHS in New York City and college basketball for the St. John's University. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1990, and was selected by the Phoenix Suns NBA team in the first round (21st pick overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft. His draft rights were thereafter traded by the Suns to the Philadelphia 76ers for a 1993 NBA first-round draft choice on October 28, 1990. Williams was then traded by the 76ers to the New Jersey Nets for conditional draft choices on October 8, 1992. Injuries forced Williams to retire from pro basketball in 1999. In the year 2000, Williams and the journalist Steve Friedman co-wrote Williams's biography Loose Balls: Easy Money, Hard Fouls, Cheap Laughs, and True Love in the NBA (ISBN 0-7679-0569-5). In their book, Williams & Friedman claimed that Williams nearly shot the New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet while firing a large handgun on his skeet-shooting range. In January 2005, Williams briefly began to play basketball professionally again in the Continental Basketball Association.



Jayson Williams founded the Jayson Williams Foundation. His philanthropy focused on Parkinson's disease and AIDS.

Personal life

Williams married Kellie Batiste in December 1999; they divorced soon after. In 2000 he married Tanya; they are divorcing.[3]

Legal incidents

In 1992, Williams was accused of breaking a beer mug over a patron's head at a saloon in Chicago. Two years later, he was accused of firing a semiautomatic weapon into the parking lot at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. He was never criminally charged in either case.

Murder/manslaughter charges

In the spring of 2002, Williams was tried for the shooting death of 55-year-old limousine driver Costas "Gus" Christofi at Williams's estate in Alexandria Township, New Jersey on February 14, 2002.[4] Christofi had been hired to drive Williams's NBA charity team from a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania event to his mansion, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Trenton, New Jersey. Members of Williams's NBA charity basketball team were present at the scene. The New York Post reported that Williams was playing with a shotgun while giving a tour of his 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) home when the weapon fired, killing Christofi.

That April, Williams was acquitted of the more serious charges against him, but the court's jury deadlocked on a charge of reckless manslaughter. He was convicted on four counts of trying to cover up the shooting. In January 2003, the family of Costas "Gus" Christofi settled with Williams in a wrongful death civil lawsuit for $2.75 million.

On April 21, 2006, a Hunterdon County appeals court ruled that Williams could be retried on a reckless manslaughter charge stemming from the shooting death of Christofi.[5][6] The court repeatedly delayed the retrial for a series of reasons, such as the State's 2008 appeal of a ruling relating to prosecutorial misconduct at the first trial.[7]

On January 11, 2010, Williams plead guilty to aggravated assault.[8] On February 23, 2010, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison with possible parole after 18 months. [9]

Tasering incident

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) reported on April 27, 2009, that Jayson Williams was stunned with a taser in a New York City hotel by members of the NYPD after reports that Williams had become suicidal and violent. Upon entering the Manhattan hotel room police said that Williams was visibly intoxicated, and that empty bottles of prescription medications were found around the room. Officers stunned him with the taser and took him to a hospital.[10]

Raleigh bar fight

Williams was arrested on May 24, 2009, for allegedly punching a man in the face at a bar in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was charged with simple assault. Later the charges were dropped by the alleged victim. [11]

DWI charge

Williams was charged January 5, 2010 with driving while intoxicated after an early morning accident in Manhattan.[12]

Indoor lacrosse

Jayson Williams was also the principal owner of the New Jersey Storm of the National Lacrosse League. The franchise operated for two seasons, 2002 and 2003, before moving to Anaheim, California, becoming the Anaheim Storm team. Due to consistently poor results, as well as its presence in tough markets, the Storm failed to make much of an impression and it went dormant before the start of the 2006 season.


  1. ^ NNDB
  2. ^ E.J. Williams, father of former Nets star Jayson Williams, dies at 76
  3. ^ Jayson Williams plea hearing in manslaughter case has been postponed
  4. ^ Hanley, Robert. "Reporter's Notebook; At Former Nets Star's Trial, A Tangle of Contradictions", The New York Times, February 29, 2004. Accessed December 20, 2007. "Five friends and four Harlem Globetrotters were in various parts of Jayson Williams's country home in Alexandria Township, N.J., when a chauffeur, Costas Christofi, was killed two years ago by a blast from a shotgun held by Mr. Williams."
  5. ^ Jones, Richard G. "Ex-Nets Star Faces Retrial for a Shooting at His Home", The New York Times, April 22, 2006, Accessed April 27, 2009. "Jayson Williams can be retried on a charge of reckless manslaughter stemming from the shooting of a limousine driver in 2002, a New Jersey appeals court ruled on Friday."
  6. ^ [1] Attorneys for Jayson Williams say the retired NBA star's convictions related to a fatal shooting should be thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct.
  7. ^ Jayson Williams retrial on hold as state appeals racial slur ruling
  8. ^ Ex-Net Jayson Williams pleads guilty to fatal shooting of driver; faces minimum 18 months in jail.
  9. ^ [2] ESPN.com - "Williams to serve at least 18 months"
  10. ^ Associated Press, "Former Net Williams Tasered By the Police", April 28, 2009, Accessed May 14, 2009.
  11. ^ BET, "Troubled Jayson Williams Busted for Alleged Assault"
  12. ^ New York Times "Jayson Williams Charged with D.W.I. After Accident"

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