Deron Williams, who hails from the Colony, Texas, helped lead the University of Illinois men's basketball team to the 2005 Final Four. Williams was one of the main reasons the Illini attained the most wins in school history with 37. Later that summer Williams was a lottery pick for the Utah Jazz, who took him 3rd overall.
Now Williams is on the verge of doing something no other Illinois basketball player has done, and that's winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
"It's great to watch Deron do so well for himself, and represent the university the way he has," former Illinois Alumni Ken Peterson said. "Also it shows what a lot of hard work can do for anyone who is willing to put in the time and do it the right way."
In his most recent game, Williams made a variety of contributions as the USA decisively defeated Australia by the score of 116 to 85. Williams scored 10 points on 4-9 shooting and also recorded three assists and three rebounds. His biggest contribution came at the end of the first half, when he nailed a big three point shot.
"It was a little bit of a momentum builder for us," Williams said. "We didn't feel like we played well in the first half. They had cut back into the game, cut it to single digits. Chris Bosh got it off the rim and passed it to me. I got a good look at the basket."
Williams and the rest of the USA squad will take on Argentina in a semifinal game Friday at 9:15 a.m. Central Time.