Shammond Williams, the former North Carolina guard who was a fixture behind the Tar Heels bench last season, is headed to Furman as an assistant coach, the Paladins announced earlier this week.
Williams played 13 years in the NBA and Europe before he retired prior to last season and returned to his home in Chapel Hill. In an interview with ESPN.com in February, Williams said he always wanted to coach.
“When you’re a point guard, you’re always coaching anyway; you’re trying to get guys on the court to do the right things to win, you’re dealing with a lot of different characters and getting them to mesh in order to achieve the ultimate goal -- which is to win,’’ Williams said. "So sometimes, it feels like I’ve been coaching all my life, I’ve just been doing it while on the floor.”
When he wasn't visiting other colleges to watch practices last season, he could often be found at the Smith Center, where he served as a mentor to players while getting some mentoring from the Tar Heels' coaches.
“Coach [Roy] Williams lets me watch practice, and I have a lot of dialogue with Coach [Steve] Robinson, Coach [Joe] Holladay, C.B. [McGrath], Jerod [Haase],’’ he said. "We throw a lot of things off each other, just talk basketball. I’m blessed to be able to speak with these gentlemen on a daily basis, to ask questions, to get the opinions of guys who have so much insight.”
When UNC head coach Roy Williams announced last month the hiring of Hubert Davis as a new assistant coach, he specifically said Shammond Williams was among "a fabulous group" of candidates, adding that Williams "is going to be great when his time comes."
Williams is a native of Greenville, S.C., and Furman coach Jeff Jackson said in a prepared statement that the team was excited to add him to its staff.
"His experience as a student-athlete, professional and great ambassador for the Greenville community will impact our staff in a positive fashion,'' Jackson said. "We are looking forward to working with him."
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.