March 10, 2014
HOUSTON - Former University of Houston guard Rob Williams passed away of congestive heart failure Monday afternoon. He was 52 years old.
Williams competed for the Cougars from 1979 to 1982 and continues to rank as the program's fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,838 points. He was a key member for Houston during the late 1970s and early 1980s and helped lead the Cougars to a combined 70 wins in three seasons and the 1982 NCAA Final Four.
He earned All-America Third-Team honors in 1981 after averaging a team-best 25.0 points per game on the way to being named Southwest Conference Player of the Year. Leading the Cougars to wins against TCU and Texas, Williams was named the SWC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
One year later, Williams was named an All-America Second-Team member after finishing with 21.1 points per contest and being named to the All-SWC First Team for the second straight season. He was the first Cougar to be recognized as an NCAA Tournament Regional Most Outstanding Player and is joined by Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to earn that honor in Houston history.
Williams elected to turn professional following his junior season and was taken with the No. 19 overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 1982 NBA Draft. In two seasons in the NBA, he competed in 153 games and scored more than 1,300 points.
He also competed professionally in the Continental Basketball Association and the United States Basketball League and played overseas in Italy, Australia, Spain and the Philippines.
"We are deeply saddened on the passing of Rob Williams and offer our condolences to his family and friends," head coach James Dickey said. "Rob was an outstanding player at Houston and helped pave the way for our great Phi Slama Jama teams. He will be greatly missed."
Following his basketball career, Williams and his family ran a care facility for mentally challenged adults in Katy, Texas.