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Alabama State hires ex-NBA All-Star Mo Williams as men’s basketball coach

Former NBA point guard Mo Williams was named head coach of the men’s basketball program at Alabama State, the school announced Tuesday.

“It’s a great day to be a Hornet,” Williams said in a statement. “I am extremely excited to become part of the family, and I am looking forward to the challenge. Go Hornets!”

Williams, 37, played 13 seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets. He was named an All-Star with the Cavs in the 2008-09 campaign.

Williams’ last season in the league came in 2015-16, when he returned to Cleveland and was a member of the Cavaliers team that beat the Golden State Warriors in seven games to win an NBA championship.

Over the past two seasons, Williams served as an assistant on Mark Gottfried’s coaching staff at California State University at Northridge. Williams played under Gottfried at Alabama, where he was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2002.

“We are excited about the direction of our men’s basketball program as we moved forward into this new era,” Alabama State athletic director Jennifer Lynne Williams said in a statement. “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. I want to thank the committee for all of their hard work during this process, as they vetted many qualified applicants for the position. Over the last few weeks and during this national [coronavirus] pandemic, they took time away from their daily schedules to find the right fit for Alabama State men’s basketball.”

The school said it plans to hold a virtual press conference next week to officially introduce Mo Williams.

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