Sought-after in Portugal, Williams cashes in moving to Sporting
After winning two Portuguese League championships and twice being named Defensive Player of the Year, Travante Williams of Anchorage became a highly sought-after free agent in Portugal.
He could have signed with any team, but he went with Sporting.
The club is better known for its soccer success, but Sporting basketball used to be a perennial Portuguese League power in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Sporting returns to the Portuguese League for the first time in two decades with one of the top players in Williams, of Mt. Edgecumbe High fame.
“Making this move was about putting myself in position to receive good money and expand who I am as a player,” he told me.
Williams, 25, played the last two seasons with Oliveirense. The team won 73 of 83 games with him, including 18 of 19 playoff games and two titles.
“Not too many guys start there career off with back to back championships,” he said. “Playing at UDO was special. We built a culture that can’t be replaced.
“I played for a family and that experience changed my life.”
The 6-foot-6 wing averaged 15.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals in 41 games. He was named Portuguese League Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the All-Star Game.
One of his handful of 30-point performances saw him go 7-for-11 from 3-point range in the Game 4 of the Portuguese League Finals when he led Oliveirense to the championship.