Ray Williams funeral plans: Former Knick to be laid to rest Wednesday

Ray Williams (13) of New York Knicks moves

Ray Williams (13) of New York Knicks moves down the court as Pete Marcvich (7) and James Hardy (11) and other New Orleans Jazz player try to close in during their NBA game Thursday night in the Louisiana Superdome. (Oct. 27, 1978) (Credit: UPI/)

Friends and family will say their final goodbyes Tuesday and Wednesday to Ray Williams, the former Mount Vernon High School basketball great who played 10 seasons in the NBA.

A wake will take place for the former Knicks guard, known on the court as "Sugar Ray," from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Allen Memorial Church of God in Christ in Mount Vernon. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, also at Allen Memorial Church. A reception will follow at the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club.

Williams, 58, died Friday of colon cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.


MORE: Former Knicks guard Ray Williams dies at 58 | Former Knick, Net Williams dies at 58 | Blog: Knicks 'Zzone
PHOTOS: Ray Williams: Mount Vernon remembers former NBA player | Hudson Valley notable sports figures | Recent notable deaths


He was born Oct. 14, 1954, in Mount Vernon.

Williams was a first-round pick drafted 10th overall out of the University of Minnesota in 1977 by the Knicks, playing two stints with the team. He signed with the Nets as a free agent in 1981 and then was traded to the Kansas City Kings before he was traded back to the Knicks in 1983. He then played for Boston, Atlanta and San Antonio before being traded to the Nets, where he finished his career after the 1986-87 season.

He scored 10,158 points in his NBA career, averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 assists per game.

When he retired in 1987, Williams battled bankruptcy following a slew of bad investments, according to published reports, eventually finding himself homeless, sleeping in old vehicles in Pompano Beach, Fla., for more than a year.

To help him get back on his feet, former teammates from the Boston Celtics supplied him with cash. In recent years, Clinton Young, then the mayor of Mount Vernon, hired him to work for the city. Williams also remarried in 2011.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Vote

With Phil Jackson now guiding the Knicks, when will they win an NBA title?

2014-15 season 2015-16 season 2016-17 season After 2017, but before 2020 After 2020

advertisement | advertise on newsday