Boo Williams, former basketball standout at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has made a significant impact on the lives of many young people over the years. As a result of his commitment to the community, Williams received the Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony last weekend in Springfield, Mass.
The Mannie Jackson awards are given annually to recipients who embrace the core value of the game, striving to improve the community and making a commitment to others. According to the criteria for the Hall of Fame’s award, “winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.”
Williams earned the award in the “Grassroots” category, and was in very good company. Other Mannie Jackson award recipients for 2013 were Earvin “Magic” Johnson for professional basketball and Pat Summit, longtime coach of the University of Tennessee’s Lady Volunteers, for amateur basketball.
From 1977 to 1981, the 6-foot-8 Williams was a star center for Saint Joseph’s, which is among the eight-team field in this year's Old Spice Classic held over Thanksgiving weekend. A Hall of Famer at Saint Joseph's, Williams went on to play professional basketball in Europe. In 1982, he founded the Boo Williams Summer League, a Youth Basketball Organization in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Williams has coached and mentored more than 2,500 student athletes, both male and female.
He also helped fund and build the Boo Williams Sportsplex, a multi-purpose, eight-court sports facility in his hometown of Hampton, Va., which hosts several basketball games throughout the year. In 2001, he was named the Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Volunteer of the Year. Williams also serves on the USA/ABA Cadet Committee for Development of Future Olympians.
Williams finished his SJU career with 1,554 points and 838 rebounds, which now ranks 14th and 12th all-time, respectively. He tallied double figures in scoring all four seasons with the Hawks. Williams was a three-time NABC All-District selection, an All-Big 5 first team honoree in 1980, and a key member of the ’81 Hawks team, which was the runner-up in the NCAA Mideast Regionals.
For more about the Old Spice Classic field, visit the Old Spice Classic web site.