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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shawne Williams Hires an Agent


Shawne Williams hires agent, won't return to U of M

By Gary Parrish, Memphis Commercial Appeal
May 25, 2006

What has been an educated guess for a while is now official. Shawne Williams has signed with Immortal Sports Agency out of Los Angeles, meaning he no longer has the option of returning for his sophomore season at the University of Memphis. "After the great year we had at the University of Memphis, I feel I am ready for the challenge of the NBA," Williams said in a prepared statement. "I am looking forward to playing against the best players in the world and continuing to improve."

Though Immortal Sports just confirmed its relationship with Williams, the 6-9 forward all but forfeited his amateur status two weeks ago when he took residency at Athletes’ Performance, a world-class training facility in Los Angeles that industry insiders told The Commercial Appeal cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. For Williams to return to Memphis under NCAA rules following that development would’ve meant him repaying every expense, and considering his impoverished background, it was reasonable to assume playing for the Tigers again was, at that point, no longer a realistic option. Williams is projected as a first-round pick. With good workouts, some analysts believe he could sneak into the lottery. A mock draft posted this week on ESPN.com has Williams going 20th to the New York Knicks.

Meanwhile, sophomore guard Darius Washington continues to train at IMG Academy in Florida in preparation for the NBA Draft. And while he has publicly left the option of returning to Memphis on the table, sources within the program have long said there is little chance of that happening, and that Washington will remain in the draft despite having no first-round guarantee.

— Gary Parrish: 529-2365

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