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Pat Williams '58 to be Inducted into Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame

Former 76ers general manager Pat Williams '58 will receive the Legacy of Excellence Award from the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 7. Before the announcement in Philadelphia last Thurs., Williams visited Tower Hil and talked with Headmaster Chris Wheeler. Look for more details about in this summer's Bulletin magazine.
PHILADELPHIA — Former 76ers general manager and Tower Hill School graduate Pat Williams will receive the Legacy of Excellence Award from the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame during its 10th induction ceremony on Nov. 7, the organization announced Thursday at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel.

Others being inducted include former Sixers great Andrew Toney, former Phillies outfielder Greg Luzinski, former Flyers wing John LeClair, Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George and Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

“As I look at the list today, I see that Julius Erving is in this Hall of Fame, Bobby Jones is in, Moses Malone is in, Andrew Toney is now in, Maurice Cheeks is in, our coach Billy Cunningham is in, so I can’t tell you what an absolute privilege it is to join those other 76er legends and take my place with them,” Williams said, rasping through a case of laryngitis. “I’m deeply humbled by that.”

Williams, 73, was born in Philadelphia, raised in Wilmington and is the architect of the powerhouse Sixers teams of the late 1970s and early ’80s, including the 1983 NBA championship team.

Williams spent 12 seasons with the Sixers, from 1974-86. He bought Erving’s contract, traded for Malone and Jones, drafted Cheeks and hired Cunningham as head coach. Williams later co-founded the Orlando Magic and currently is their senior vice president.

He is a father to 19 children, including 14 adopted, and is a motivational speaker, a cancer survivor and an author of nearly 80 books.

He also spent seven seasons as a player in the Phillies’ minor league system and five in the front office.

Williams already is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame, the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame and has received the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Having grown up in this area, having lived at Shibe Park as a kid and at the Palestra and Convention Hall and Franklin Field – I was the ultimate Philadelphia sports kid growing up – and then [former Phillies owner] Bob Carpenter gave me my start when I finished college, and so my roots are very deep here,” Williams said. “And so, to go in with this class and join 152 sports heroes and legends, many of my youth, it’s hard to put into words. I’m kind of overwhelmed by the whole deal.”

Pat Williams to enter Philly sports hall: Tower Hill grad and former 76ers GM Pat Williams battles laryngitis to express thank at being selected to join Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, pokes fun at longtime NBA official Joey Crawford.
Republished with permission from The News Journal
Written by Jason Wolf,