MANILA, Philippines — Kelly Williams has called it quits after 14 seasons in the PBA.
The six-time PBA champion, who spent most of his career with the Talk ’N Text franchise, announced his retirement on social media Monday.
“It’s with gladness & sadness that I announce my retirement from basketball. I couldn’t have predicted that I’d have the kind of career I was able to experience,” wrote the 6-foot-6 forward, who was named PBA MVP in 2008.
“Thank you Philippines for giving me solid ground to grow as both a player and a man for the last 15 years. Thank you PBA for giving me access to your stage for 14 seasons and to the great fans who supported me during my time. I gave my all when I put Pilipinas and my teams on my chest and I hope you felt that.”
The 38-year-old Williams was the top overall pick by defunct Sta. Lucia in the 2006 draft after playing four years at Oakland University.
“Thank you SLR for giving me freedom to be me. Coach Boyet, Boss Buddy, mgmnt, Atty Magno, coaches, utility and all my teammates. It’s because of you that I’m in the All-time 40 and I’m forever grateful! Thank you TNT for extending my career. To the coaches & teammates who lifted me up time & time again. I know it wasn’t easy. Thank you🙏🏼 I love you guys. Wheyking Fam and Anytime Eastwood, thank you for supporting my fitness journey over the years!”
In 2010, Williams was traded to Talk ’N Text, where he won five titles.
Williams encountered many battles on the court while also having to overcome adversities off of it. He was diagnosed with a blood disorder in 2009 but still managed to return and make a big impact for his team to earn the Comeback Player of the Year award.
He won the plum again in 2017 after hurdling major knee injuries.
“I turn the final page of this chapter and I fear not. I did the best I could with what I had, now I can lay my career to rest with peace in my heart. Now I can be nearer to my sons.”
The former Philippine team slotman also made sure to thank the people who helped him every step of the way—from his family and friends, fellow players all the way to the coaches who had faith in him from the beginning.
It’s with gladness & sadness that I announce my retirement from basketball. I could not have predicted that I’d have the kind of career I was able to experience.
Thank you Philippines for giving me solid ground to… https://t.co/MzWFun6MXr
— Kel Williams (@KelWilliams21) September 7, 2020
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