Vols Williams is First Vol Selected in 2019 NBA Draft

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Grant Williams was the first Volunteer to hear his name called in Thursday’s NBA Draft, as the Boston Celtics selected the Tennessee forward with the 22nd overall pick.

As a junior this past season, Williams became just the sixth SEC player to earn consensus first-team All-American status in the last 10 years, and he was the first SEC player to do so since 2016.

Williams is Tennessee’s ninth first-round NBA Draft pick and the first since Tobias Harris went 19th overall to Charlotte in 2011. As the 22nd overall selection, Williams also is UT’s highest draft pick since Harris.
Williams is just the fifth Tennessee player with remaining collegiate eligibility ever to hear his name called in the NBA Draft, joining fellow juniors Bernard King (1977), Marcus Haislip (2002) and Jarnell Stokes (2014) and Harris (2011), who was a freshman.
The Celtics have previously drafted three players from Tennessee. Boston selected Marshall Hawkins in 1948, Bobby Croft in 1970 and Steve Hamer in 1996.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, native established himself as one of the nation’s most versatile and efficient players this past season, averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He also shot 57 percent from the field and an impressive 82 percent from the free-throw line.
Williams ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in scoring (1st), field-goal percentage (2nd), free-throw percentage (5th), rebounding (7th) and assist/turnover ratio (10th). He moved into the top 10 on UT’s all-time career lists for blocks (3rd/160), free-throw attempts (3rd/661), free throws made (4th/501) and offensive rebounds (8th/257). He also ranks 12th in scoring with 1,629 career points.
A finalist for virtually every major national player of the year award, Williams’ list of postseason honors was extensive. He was named SEC Player of the Year and a first-team All-SEC performer—both for the second straight season. He also was named to the SEC Community Service Team, SEC All-Tournament Team and was the USBWA District IV Player of the Year.
Williams managed to graduate in only three years, earning his degree in Supply Chain Management—with a collateral in Marketing—in May.

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