The daughters of former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams have denounced St. John’s for its decision to include their father in the school’s athletics hall over allegations of neglect in their lives following his role in the deadly 2002 shooting. a limousine driver.
Tryumph and Whizdom Williams wrote open letters they planned to send to St. John’s, saying the school should be ashamed of his introduction to the classroom on Saturday’s homecoming weekend.
Williams, 54, spent more than a year in prison for the accidental death of driver Costas Christofi at his New Jersey mansion.
The sisters each accused Williams of neglect and emotional and verbal abuse and said the power forward, who once signed a six-year $86 million deal with the New Jersey Nets, failed to provide adequate financial support.
Tryumph Jaye Williams, a 19-year-old who studies theater at DePaul, accuses her of having her sister locked up in a garbage chute by Williams. Tryumph also lashed out at St. John’s as “possibly, fools, misusing money to honor Jayson Williams.”
“Why are you honored and inducted into the hall of fame when I always had to earn my survival in spite of you, let alone my success? St. John’s University — you should be ashamed of yourself,” she wrote. .
Whizdom J Williams, an 18-year-old student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, accused her father of being an alcoholic and “a father beaten to death who has no sense of remorse.”
St. John’s and Williams did not immediately return requests for comment.
Williams killed Christofi with a 12-gauge shotgun while showing it to friends for failing to check the weapon’s safety mechanism before closing the gun. Williams then wiped the weapon and placed it in the driver’s hands, took off his own clothes, gave them to a friend and jumped into his pool, according to testimonies. Williams’ lawyers claimed the shooting was an accident and that his actions were driven by panic.
He tearfully apologized to the victim’s family when he was convicted of the 2010 shooting. Williams, separated from his daughters’ mother, Tanya, had paid Christofi’s family more than $2 million in 2003 to pay a process for wrongful death.
Williams has since founded the addiction rehabilitation program the Rebound Institute in Florida, which St. John’s has promoted as a success story.
But his daughters wrote that Williams never made amends with them.
“I knew I couldn’t change who my father was or the way he saw and treated me,” Whizdom wrote. “I knew the remorse and the apology would never come.”
She also wrote a poem about her father and dedicated it, “To the weakest man I know, Jayson.”
Williams averaged 7.3 points and 7.5 rebounds over nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and Nets. The 6-foot-10 Williams was one of the NBA’s top rebounders when leg injuries led to his retirement from the Nets in 2000.
He played three seasons at St. John’s under Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca. Williams was co-captain in 1989-90 and was part of a St. John’s team that won 24 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was the 21st overall pick in the 1990 draft, finishing with 3,472 points, 3,584 rebounds and 301 blocks during his professional career.
Williams is scheduled to compete in a seven-person class at the St. John induction ceremony, which will also include 2016 Olympic high jumper Priscilla Frederick and 2016 Olympic fencing silver medalist Daryl Homer.