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NBA star Derrick Williams welcomed ‘back home’

By Randy Economy

It was “Derrick Williams Night” at the La Mirada City Council meeting on Tuesday.
The superstar basketball player from the Minnesota Timberwolves was honored by Mayor Gabe Garcia and the city council with a rarely presented “Community Spotlight Award.”

Garcia said Williams was being honored “not because he plays in the NBA, it is because he is giving back to the community where he lives, loves and grew up.”

The recognition is presented to La Mirada residents who through their actions bring “credit to themselves and the City of La Mirada.”

Williams is a 2009 graduate of La Mirada High School and then attended the University of Arizona where he rose to national prominence in his sophomore year when he averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
“Derrick is the perfect example of someone who grew up here in La Mirada, and who is going on to accomplish major things in professional sports, who is now giving back his time, efforts, and even his money,” Garcia said.

The mayor then quipped, “Hey Derrick, we might need a loan down the road here at city hall,” to the amusement of those gathered.

During the 2011 season, Williams led the NCAA in True Shooting percentage (.690) and Effective Field Goal percentage (.650), helping lead the Arizona Wildcats basketball team to a regular season PAC-10 championship. Williams was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year.

Williams told The Lamplighter in an interview that he is looking forward “to a great season ahead.”
“Our team is going to be whole next year, with a solid team up and down,” Williams said.
“It is great to be home and with my family, friends and the community,” he said.

Williams will be hosting a youth community picnic this Saturday, September 15 at La Mirada Regional Park from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

“We want all the kids from La Mirada and their parents to come by and grab a hot dog and just enjoy being part of this wonderful community,” Williams said.

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