There is no way to hide my excitement tonight, as one of my favorite TCU Horned Frogs earned his shot in the NBA.
Kenrich Williams, he of the indomitable spirit and incomparable haircut, has signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.
It’s impossible not to be happy for the man nicknamed Kenny Hustle, a player who overcame first a lack of offers, then injury, and finally going undrafted to fight his way into professional basketball. Williams was quickly snapped up by the Denver Nuggets after failing to hear his named called during the two-round NBA Draft, and spent his Summer League audition doing what he did at TCU - grabbing rebounds, playing defense, making hustle plays, and showing off his high basketball IQ. Though his shot didn’t fall as we had all hoped, Williams did enough to earn a shot. And that’s what the Pelicans gave him.
After averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as a senior, Williams put up 5.4 and 5.6 with the Nuggets in Las Vegas. The Frogs’ three-time team rebounding leader put up 13 double-doubles last season to give him 34 for his career. He is in the top 25 all time for points scored and top five for rebounds in TCU history.
Most importantly, the second-team All Big 12 selection led the Horned Frogs back to the NCAA Tournament after a 20 year absence, a season after taking TCU to NYC where they won an NIT Championship - and where he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Now, he joins a Pelicans squad trying to compete in the impossibly deep and difficult west, but will have the support of another former Frog - 2013 graduate Garlon Green, who also signed this week. The details of Williams’ deal have yet to be revealed, but it has been reported that the contract includes a partial guarantee for the 2018-2019 season.
Congrats, Kenny Hustle - you earned it.