Now, the next generation in that bloodline has an opportunity to follow in his father's orange and blue footsteps as DaMonte Williams, a 2017 point guard from Peoria (IL) Manual was offered by Illinois on Monday.
Coming off of what has arguably been his best stretch of basketball to date, Williams has been talked about as one of the biggest stock risers of this spring session while playing with the Mac Irvin Fire 16U team.
Already with an offer from UIC, the Illini offer was validation for him and the high level at which he has played this spring.
"I was very happy when I got offered," Williams said. "I'm starting to see the hard work my coach Dave and me put in is starting to pay off."
The live period these past couple weekends were a crucial time for Williams. Some had mixed reviews regarding the 2017 point guard, but his game spoke volumes about the improvement he's made, and college coaches took notice.
"It motivates me a lot seeing how I'm getting better," he said. "That and getting the opportunity to show college coaches what I can do."
Williams grew plenty familiar with the Illini growing up. Some of his early childhood memories of his dad's career in Champaign still come back to DaMonte today.
"Sometimes I think how good he did when he was there at Illinois and I was thinking how good Illinois could be if I made the decision to go there."
Peoria has produced numerous Illini players in the past. However the last couple of years have been a bit of a drought. But with Williams leading the way, Peoria may be on an upswing in the coming years.
Part of Williams' rise has to do with his commitment to keep his motor running all the time and being more aggressive on both ends of the floor.
"I've been working on being in attack mode all the time instead of shooting," he said. "Once I'm scoring, I get back on defense ready to get a five second count or get a steal so I can either score again or get the assist on a fast break."
Williams said that as of right now he doesn't have any visits planned, but did say that he intends to get down to Illinois eventually.