January 8, 1982 - On this day in history, Rocky Mount native Buck Williams had an outstanding game in his rookie season in the NBA. Playing for the New Jersey Nets, the former Maryland star dropped in 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as the Nets won at home over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-100. Williams, who joined the NCSHOF in 2003, started all 82 games his rookie year and averaged 15.5 ppg and 12.3 rebounds, good enough to win NBA Rookie of the Year.
Williams was drafted Round 1 Pick 3 by the New Jersey Nets in 1981. Williams would go on to become a 3x NBA All-Star, 2x All-Defensive First Team, and one time All-NBA Second Team player. His #52 was retired by the Nets in 1999.