20UNDER40: Louis Williams

Lou Williams

Louis Williams is one of the most accomplished athletes in Gwinnett County history. Still active in his chosen sport – basketball – he has been playing in the NBA for eight years, and is currently a guard with the Atlanta Hawks. Louis was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

The accolades and awards started as a youngster and there is no end in sight at the moment. He attended South Gwinnett High School, where he was a four-time All-State player. Louis led South Gwinnett to the AAAAA Georgia State Championship, and through high school averaged 27.5 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and 5.2 assists per game.

Louis was named Georgia’s “Mr. Basketball” in both his junior and senior high school years. His senior year, he was named to the McDonald’s All-American East team, and in the same year received the highly prestigious Naismith Youth Player of the Year Award, which recognizes the best high school basketball player in the United States. He maintains the distinction of being the second all-time leading scorer in Georgia high school basketball history.

Upon graduating high school, he was briefly destined for the University of Georgia. But as fate would have it, he declared himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft, and was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. At the end of the 2007-2008 season, he became an unrestricted free agent, and re-signed a five year deal with the 76ers. In July 2012, Louis signed with the Atlanta Hawks. Despite suffering a torn ACL last year while playing against the Brooklyn Nets, he remains active with the Hawks this season.

Louis remains a strong supporter of Gwinnett County athletics and its youth. He hosts an annual summer camp at South Gwinnett High School for youngsters ages 10 to 16. And in 2007, he founded the Lou Williams Foundation, which encourages students to strive for high scholastic achievement.

Reg L. Carver
Reg is a freelance writer and photographer from Johns Creek, Georgia. He is the author of Jazz Profiles: The Spirit of the Nineties (Billboard Books 1998), which was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Award for excellence in music writing. He is also the author of Walking Up Lombard:My Long Journey Home (AuthorHouse 2012), a memoir of his journey through major depression and healing. You can find him at www.reglcarver.com and www.500px.com/RegLCarver.

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