For the second year in the row, Tennessee basketball star Grant Williams has been selected as the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame’s Male Amateur Athlete of the Year. He will be recognized during the organization’s 53rd Annual Induction Banquet on Saturday, June 15, at the Omni-Nashville Hotel.
Williams joins football VFL Eric Berry as the only UT student-athletes to win the award multiple times.
Tickets for the 2019 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony are available by calling 615-418-9595.
A consensus first-team All-American, Williams ranked among the nation’s most versatile and efficient players this year, averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He also shot 57 percent from the field and an impressive 82 percent from the free-throw line.
Williams ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in scoring (1st), field-goal percentage (2nd), free-throw percentage (5th), rebounding (7th) and assist/turnover ratio (10th). He moved into the top 10 on UT’s all-time career lists for blocks (3rd/160), free-throw attempts (3rd/661), free throws made (4th/501) and offensive rebounds (8th/257). He also ranks 12th in scoring with 1,629 career points.
The Charlotte, North Carolina, native helped the Vols (31-6) advance to the Sweet Sixteen and match the program record for wins in a single season. Williams also played a critical role in this year’s team setting program records for points, field goals made, assists and blocks.
A finalist for virtually every major National Player of the Year award, Williams’ list of postseason honors was extensive. He was named SEC Player of the Year and a first-team All-SEC performer—both for the second straight season. He also was named to the SEC Community Service Team, the SEC All-Tournament Team and was the USBWA District IV Player of the Year.
This is the fourth straight year in which a Tennessee Vol has been named the TSHOF’s Male Amateur Athlete of the Year, as world-champion sprinter Christian Coleman shared the award in 2016 before winning it outright in 2017.
Other Tennessee male student-athletes who have received the award are tennis player J.P. Smith (2011), football player Eric Berry (2008, 2009, 2010), baseball pitcher Luke Hochevar (2006), sprinter Justin Gatlin (2003), football player John Henderson (2001), swimmer Jeremy Linn (1999), football player Peyton Manning (1998), baseball player Todd Helton (1996), baseball pitcher R.A. Dickey (1995), swimmer Melvin Stewart (1993), football player Reggie White (1984), basketball player Ernie Grunfeld (1977), steeplechase runner Doug Brown (1975), football/baseball player Condredge Holloway (1974), swimmer David Edgar (1973) and football player Bobby Majors (1972).
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, which held its first induction banquet in 1966, has as its goal to enshrine successful teams and individuals who display sportsmanship, good character and success, creating a legacy for others to follow. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Museum is housed inside the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.
While Williams is one of multiple annual award winners, there are several 2019 inductees with UT connections, including Kippy Brown, David Cutcliffe, Charles Davis, Kara Lawson and Peyton Manning.