Former PBA MVP Kelly Williams announces retirement after 14 seasons

Former PBA MVP Kelly Williams is hanging up his jersey after 14 seasons.

The 38-year old Fil-Am from Detroit, Michigan took to his social media accounts on Monday to announce his retirement.

“It’s with gladness & sadness that I announce my retirement from basketball. I could not have predicted that I’d have the kind of career I was able to experience,” said Williams. “Thank you Philippines for giving me solid ground to grow as both a player & a man for the last 15 years.”

Williams broke into the league in 2006 as the top overall pick. He was taken in by the now-defunct Sta. Lucia Realtors and went on to bag the Rookie of the Year award. He led the team to its second and last PBA title – the 2007-08 Philippine Cup and was crowned as the Best Player of the Conference. He was eventually hailed as league Most Valuable Player in his sophomore year.

After dealing with health issues, he was dealt to the TNT KaTropa in 2010 along with Ryan Reyes and became part of five more championships – including three straight Philippine Cup titles.

The 6-foot-7 high-leaper, who is also a 3-time member of the league’s Mythical First team, finished with career averages of 10.4 points 7.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.

In addition, he is a 5-time All-Star, a 2-time Slam Dunk champion, 2-time Comeback Player of the Year, and a former member of the national squad.

“To [basketball], thank you for being a safe haven to a young lost kid & bringing meaning to my life EVERY YEAR since 1991. Forever grateful,” Williams said.

“I turn the final page of this chapter, staring into the unknown, & I fear not. I did the best I could with what I had, now I can lay my career to rest with peace in my heart. Now I can be nearer to my sons. The Machine Gun signing off. 21 gun salute.”

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