Mo Williams, ex-NBA player, to join Jackson State

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Former NBA player Mo Williams, the Alabama State Hornets’ basketball coach, is reportedly moving on to become the new men’s basketball coach at Jackson State University.

Williams played 14 seasons in the NBA and was voted an NBA All-Star in 2009. In 2016, he won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and retired the following year, as reported by the Montgomery Advisor. In 2018, his coaching career began as an assistant under Mark Gottfried at Cal State Northridge. 

Former NBA player Mo Williams, the Alabama State Hornets’ basketball coach, is reportedly moving on to become the new men’s basketball coach at Jackson State University. (Photo: David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Williams served as Alabama State’s head coach for two seasons “with an 11-34 record and a 10-23 conference record,” according to WLBT. He is set to return to his home city of Jackson to lead the male basketball players at Jackson State, according to Stadium‘s basketball analyst Jeff Goodman, as reported by The Montgomery Advisor.

The news comes amid reports that current JSU coach Wayne Brent is expected to retire at the end of the 2021-22 season, per Clarion Ledger. Williams joins former professional football player Deion Sanders on the coach roster at Jackson State, where the ex-NFL star has led college athletes since 2020.

At the time of his hiring as Alabama State’s head basketball coach in 2020, Williams told Sports Illustrated that he was more than confident about taking on his first head-coaching gig. 

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“I felt I was prepared, I was confident, I knew I can do a great job,” Williams said in an interview with SI.com. “It wasn’t like I was throwing darts on the wall and seeing what sticks. It was a situation where I knew it was a good fit. The more I did my research, the more that became evident.”

Williams went on to list the reasons why he accepted the coaching job at Alabama State.

“Obviously, my roots are there,” he said. “Alabama is home to me, and my mom is from Alabama. I went school at Alabama, grew up in Mississippi. It’s familiar territory. Everything checked the boxes for me taking the job.”

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Last year, Williams noted the significance of historically black colleges and universities being acknowledged and honored at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. 

“Everything’s about exposure,” said Williams, theGrio reported. “Being that the All-Star Game is putting an emphasis on HBCUs, it gives us exposure, and it helps in a lot of different areas, a lot of different ways, a lot of different schools.

“It’s no different from Super Bowl commercials,” he contended. “People spend millions of dollars to put their commercial on the Super Bowl for the exposure. And, you know, the exposure we’re getting this weekend from the NBA All-Star Game, it only can help.”

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