LThe NBA was shaken this past Thursday when 18 former NBA players and the wife of one of them were accused by the United States Department of Justice of defrauding almost 4 million dollars from a League health insurance plan. The prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, gave the name of Terrence Williams as the mastermind of this plot that would have been active between at least 2017 and 2020.
Williams, 34, and 1.98 meters, was a forward chosen by the Nets in the eleventh position in the 2009 draft. In his four seasons in the NBA, he also played for the Rockets, Kings and Celtics. Although he fulfilled his role as a secondary player and averaged 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists, on May 3, 2013 he played his last game in the American League. Thus began a globetrotting career through China, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela and Israel. In several of his teams he barely held a few games and some, like Maccabi Ashdod, did not even make his debut.
Born in Seattle, he grew up in a troubled neighborhood where Nate Robinson, a three-time NBA dunk contest champion, also grew up. There were financial straits at the Williams’ house and everything got complicated after the murder of their father, Edgar. The same day he was released from prison, he was shot in what appeared to be a reckoning for having collaborated with the prosecutor in a drug case. His mother, also serving a sentence, was allowed to leave prison only to attend her husband’s funeral.
“I don’t remember anything about my father. The only image I really have is when he was in prison and I was wearing shoes with my mother. I can’t tell any stories like, ‘Oh, I remember that time playing in the park.’ . I’ve always tried to remember, but it’s the hardest thing to do. You can’t have a memory of something that you think never happened. I had a father, but it’s all blank. It’s as if he didn’t exist, “he says.
Terrence, who was only six at the time, and an older sister were living with an aunt. When his mother left prison, 10 people came together living in a three-room apartment: two uncles, two aunts, a cousin, a grandmother, the three of them and a newborn brother. “There was no space or anything like your own things. You could have a pair of slippers, but you came home and your uncle wore them, who had put on four pairs of socks to make it fit,” he said in an interview during his season. rookie. Many nights were spent at Robinson’s house. Then he ended up moving in with his school’s athletic director and, later, with the family of a teammate.
The forward began to dazzle playing at Rainier Beach High School. His physique allows him to combine basketball with American football. In the end he opted for the round ball and when choosing a university he opted for Louisville before Indiana and Kansas, of which he also had proposals. He agreed with legendary coach Rick Pitino, former Panathinaikos and Greek national team, dazzled by his conditions: “He is a monstrous athlete.” He became co-captain of the team and he responded on the track. His name grew and he appeared on three consecutive covers of the prestigious ‘Sports Illustrated’.
But when he arrived in the NBA, Williams did not live up to expectations and the problems began. In his second season, the Nets assigned him to the Development League for repeatedly breaking team rules. The transfers began, including one that also included Shane Larkin. He did not finish making a hole in the League and in 2013 he played his last game there. That year he had a first conflict with the law when he was arrested after he threatened his partner with a firearm during an incident of domestic violence related to his 10-year-old son.
Throughout his NBA career, Terrence earned nearly $ 7 million. “I have been paying my family’s debts since I was 13,” he says. Now he is accused of being the mastermind of a plot. In case of being found guilty, the maximum penalty would be 20 years in prison. Added to this is identity theft, which carries a minimum of two years in prison.