ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville senior forward John Williams has been invited to compete in the State Farm Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships on Thursday, March 31 Houston, Texas, the site of the 2011 Final Four. The competition will take place at the University of Houston's Hofheinz Pavilion.
The State Farm Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships will feature 24 senior standouts from around the nation to compete in three eight-player events: the men's slam dunk contest, the men's 3-point competition and the women's 3-point competition. This is the 23rd annual event, which is always held in the Final Four host city. The event will be nationally televised on ESPN2 on March 31 from 9-11 p.m. It will also air several additional times throughout the weekend. Past participants and champions include NBA stars Aaron Brooks, Dahntay Jones, Steve Nash, Wes Matthews, Sonny Weems, Jason Maxiell and Kyle Korver.
John becomes the first player in Big South Conference history to be invited to the event. Williams enjoyed a great career for the Bulldogs. He completed his career as the program's 20th all-time leading scorer with 1,171 points. The Raleigh native pulled down 684 rebounds in his career, placing him sixth all-time at Asheville in that category. He completed his Asheville career as the program's all-time leader in blocked shots with 255. John is one of just three players in the history of the Big South Conference to score more than 1,000 points, grab more than 600 rebounds and block more than 200 shots.
This past season despite a facial injury that caused him to miss seven games in late November and most of December, Williams finished the year Asheville's leader in blocked shots with 46. He averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. John enjoyed a spectacular Big South Conference Tournament as he led the Bulldogs to the tournament championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament. In the title game victory over Coastal Carolina, Williams set a tournament record with six blocked shots, including two in the final two minutes to help seal the 60-47 win. He earned a spot on the Big South All-Tournnament team for his play. One of his blocked shots against High Point in the semifinals of the tournament earned him a spot on ESPN's Top 10 Plays.
"I am really excited to be selected for the contest," stated Williams. "This has been a dream of mine and I can't believe I got picked. I'm looking really forward to competing in Houston and very proud I'll get to wear the UNC Asheville uniform one more time."