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Louis Williams, standout on 29-2 Gold Rush team, dies

April 26, 2011

     NEW ORLEANS — Louis Williams, the leading scorer on Xavier University of Louisiana's 29-2 men's basketball team in 1981-82, died this past Wednesday (April 20) in Houston at age 51.
     Williams died in his sleep of natural causes, his sister Dawn said.
     A 6-foot-4 forward and a native of Gulfport, Miss., Williams averaged 17 points and 6.9 points per game and shot 57.4 percent from the floor to earn NAIA All-America honorable mention for Coach Denny Alexander's Gold Rush in 1981-82. Xavier lost its opener, then won 29 in a row to tie a school record for consecutive victories in one season. The XU men were 12-0 in league play during the first season of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, won the NAIA District 30 playoffs to qualify for the NAIA National Championship and ranked third in the final NAIA coaches poll.
     "A tremendous athlete with fantastic leaping ability and a soft but deadly jump shot." Alexander said of Williams. "Capable of being unstoppable at times . . . sometimes he's downright awesome."
     Williams was one of three freshmen from Alexander's 1979-80 team to reach 1,200 career points at Xavier. The others were Eugene Johnson and Alvin "Bo" Dukes. Williams played through his junior season and finished with 1,206 points — which still ranks him 17th on Xavier's career list — and 527 rebounds in 86 games.
     Williams averaged 11.8 points and 5.1 rebounds as a freshman. As a sophomore he averaged 12.8 and 6.1 rebounds and blocked 67 shots — still a Gold Rush season record — for a 21-8 team which won the NAIA District 30 playoffs and qualified for the national tourney for the first time in eight seasons.
     His single-game highs included 34 points at Paul Quinn on Jan. 11, 1982, 17 rebounds at Dillard on Feb. 14, 1981, and nine blocked shots against Philander Smith in the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Tournament on Dec. 19, 1980.
     As a senior at Harrison Central High School in 1978-79, Williams averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds.
     "Sweet Lou was the best," Dawn Williams said. "He was everyone's best friend. He would sit on his front porch and talk to everybody who passed by."
     Williams is survived by six daughters and 16 siblings. A Mass of Christian burial will start at 10 a.m. Monday (May 2) at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, 3521 19th Street in Gulfport (zip code 39501, phone 228-863-0642). Burial will follow at Monroe Memorial Park at the corner of Canal and Hutter roads in Gulfport. In lieu of flowers, the Williams family requests donations to Dawn Williams accounts at Wells Fargo Bank or Hancock Bank to help defray funeral expenses.

   
Louis Williams

Louis Theodore Williams
March 26, 1960-April 20, 2011

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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