The Landlord. If you call yourself a true Blue Devil fan, you know who I am talking about. Shelden Williams is that person, if you didn’t know who I was speaking of. Williams, an Oklahoma City native, was highly regarded coming out of high school, where he was ranked the #3 PF in the entire class of 2002. Along with what was thought of as a very skilled class that included Sean Dockery and J.J. Redick, Williams was s flat out star before entering Duke. He was an All-American, 2-time Defensive Player of the Year and ranked as Oklahoma state Player of the Year by two different newspapers, USA Today and Daily Oklahoman.

            When Williams got to Duke, everything really started to click for him. His was known for his consistent effort attacking the rim and for ferocious dunks almost every game. Just like in high school, Shelden made his biggest contribution on the defensive end. Teams would have to think twice before going towards the rack and attacking the 6 ft 9 in, 250 lb center. During his tenure as a Blue Devil, Williams became one of the best big men in the history of this storied program. He won NABC Defensive Player of the Year twice in 2005 and 2006 and set three records. He is Duke’s all time leader in shots blocked at 422, all time rebound leader, and single season blocked shots.

            Shelden is one of only three players in the history of college basketball with 1500 points, 1000 rebounds, have 350 blocked shots, and the most surprising stat of all, 150 steals in all four years at school. When time came around for the 2006 NBA draft, his name was called 5th overall by David Stern and he was officially a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Although he had enormous success, he never established himself as the player he showed he could be. Williams bounced around from team to team, going to Sacremento in 2008, Timberwolves and Celtics in 2009, Denver in 2010, and then went to New York to play at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks.

            After that, he decided to sign a one-year deal in August of 2012 to start his European career. His deal was with Elan Chalon, at the time the former French League champions. During last season, he averaged 11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in only 10 games. In the entire season, playing 35 games, he averaged 13.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He has seemed to have found his niche playing overseas. He has gone back to being a factor, scoring over 15 points in a game 15 times in his 35 games and grabbing double-digit rebounds in 8 games. It is great to see a man who had struggled to find his way in the NBA find success elsewhere. He is also currently married to former University of Tennessee basketball star Candace Parker who is currently playing in the WNBA as well as playing overseas. The two have a child together, a girl named Lailaa Williams.