Sixers - MC JAMMER
Guard's crossover move is a part-time gig as radio DJ
THERE IS NO question that basketball is Louis Williams' passion. It's naturally in his heart.
But when it comes to the sweet, bass-rattling, head-bobbing sounds of music - now that's something that's just naturally in his blood.
Williams, the Sixers' second-round selection in the 2005 NBA draft fresh out of South Gwinnett (Ga.) High, is already known to many Sixers fans as the barely legal 21-year-old sparky guard off the Sixers' bench.
But what many fans don't know is that just as quickly as he can spin off his defender and get to the rim, he is almost twice as fast spinning on a set of turntables with a microphone in hand.
Beginning Feb. 10, Williams can start showcasing his skills and voiceon 100.3 The Beat, when he launches his own radio show called "The Louis Williams Show."
"My main goal is just to go out there and promote myself, my teammates and the Sixers' organization and just try to get some more fans in the seats at the Wachovia Center," Williams said.
He will have a 4-hour show every Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. According to 100.3 The Beat program director Colby Colb, Williams will have full creative control over his show.
"This was something we have been working on for a while now, so finally getting him on the team now is just exciting for us," Colb said.
As a program director and on-air talent at the station for the last 5 years, Colb said he was instantly impressed the first time he met Williams during a radio interview at the station after the Sixers made him the first high school player selected by the team since Darryl Dawkins, in 1975.
Colb said Williams knew so much about the ins and outs of the radio station that it made him curious how the average person could know so much about things that take many people months to master.
That was just it. Williams isn't just an ordinary person. He grew up watching his stepfather, Mitch Faulkner, a legendary voiceover specialist, spend countless hours in radio stations producing advertising campaigns for radio and television stations across the country.
"When he told me who his dad was and I was like, 'That's big deal,' " Colb said of Faulkner, who remains one of the country's most recognized and sought-after voice talents. He is heard daily by more than 8 million people on more than 185 radio stations across America and internationally.
"This was one of the things he wanted to do, to be on the air," Colb said of Williams. "So while he's living out his dream to play basketball in the NBA, he's also living out another part of his dreams by having his own radio show."
And don't think that just because Williams is an NBA star that he will get preferential treatment. In fact, Williams had to fill out an application and submit a demo to the station just like any other applicant. Colb said Williams' demo was professionally presented.
Because of the strains of the NBA schedule, Williams said he is capable of prerecording shows if the team is on the road. The Sixers only have two away games remaining on Sunday afternoons this season (March 9 at Milwaukee and March 30 at Cleveland).
Williams, who lets Atlanta-based rapper/producer/hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupri handle some of his marketing, said the fact that he travels so much will help bring an added flavor to his show and the station.
"Just think, if I'm on the road in Cleveland, I can interview LeBron [James] or if I'm Los Angeles I can have Kobe [Bryant] be a guest on my show," Williams said. "It's the 'Louis Williams Show,' I can do whatever I want, really."
Williams, who is considered a staff member of the 100.3 The Beat family, said the money he earns while working at the station will support his Caps for Kids Drive.
Colb believes Williams' personality and professionalism on the air will catch a lot of people off-guard when they hear him for the first time.
"He's definitely going to hold his own on the radio," Colb said. "I think the people are going to be like, 'Wow, is that really the guy who plays basketball?'
"Usually it doesn't work out that way when somebody like that tries to do something different. It just doesn't pan out as good. But he is tight and understands the formats. His dad has been coaching him through it, so it's going to be very surprising to some people."
While an added incentive is to increase his public image around the city, Williams wants to make sure one thing remains clear:
"Basketball is priority. Period. I want that to be made clear," said Williams, who is averaging 10.8 points and 3.3 assists in 22.3 minutes a game for the 17-28 Sixers. "This radio thing is just a hobby of mine. I love doing it. Music is in my blood and this is just something extra for me to do to occupy some extra time."
Williams said he isn't at all nervous about his radio debut or too concerned with how he would be received among listeners. Like the way he approaches the game of basketball, he just wants to have fun.
"Hopefully the reception will be good," Williams said. "We'll get some new listeners and some new Sixers fans, so it works out well for both sides at the same time."
The Sixers' 103-96 victory Saturday night in Charlotte ended a three-game losing streak and was their third victory in their last 14 games. They return to the Wachovia Center, where they've dropped six of eight, to face Milwaukee on Wednesday night . . . Rookie
made his first start against the Bobcats, contributing six points and four rebounds in 18:28.
, who had started the first 44 games, had two points and nine rebounds in 23:16 . . .
took 14 rebounds against the Bobcats; he has taken at least 10 in seven of nine games, 10 of 14, and has managed at least five offensive rebounds in nine of 14 . . .
had 33 points Saturday, giving him 72 in the last three games, in which he has hit 28 of 52 shots from the floor . . .
are serving as honorary commissioners of the Sixers Neighborhood League's 14th season, which begins with a ceremony at 4:30 this afternoon at Gustine Lake Recreation Center. *