Former Lobo forward Tim Williams worked out for a few NBA teams, but found himself on the outside looking in after the draft.
He still found a way to begin a pro career — multiple reports confirmed the big man signed with Atomerőmű SE, a professional basketball team based in Paks, Hungary.
Although Williams will be thousands of miles away from the United States and likely adjusting to a vastly different environment, there will also be some familiarity.
The team website projects four Americans to be in the starting lineup, including Williams at center.
Fellow Americans Jabarie Hinds and Seth Allen will make up the backcourt, while 28-year-old Troy Barnies joins Hungarian forward Janos Eilingsfeld in the frontcourt.
Atomerőmű has won multiple championships in the past, taking the league title four times in the 2000s. But it is has been nearly a decade since the team’s most recent championship, and Williams could play a pivotal role in turning things around.
One of the things the former Lobo forward will bring to the table is a strong post presence with the ability to finish strong at the hoop, along with a work ethic that most coaches probably wish they could inject into the entire roster.
Although most NBA teams seemed to imply that Williams’ game would not translate to the next level, his size could work more in his favor overseas.
The international experience should be beneficial, though Williams’ potential for an NBA career may have been brighter if he were able to land in the “G-league," the newly renamed minor league instead.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has seemed to express a desire to utilize the G-league in the same fashion Major League Baseball uses its minor-league system to develop talent, thus improving the overall product on the court.
But that's not to say that opting to play international basketball means players are forgotten.
If the former Lobo is able to develop his mid-range jumper and show an ability to play at a faster pace, that door may still be open.
In his senior year, Williams was the second-leading scorer on the team. He averaged 17.4 points per game, despite missing several games due to a stress reaction in his foot.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers football and men’s and women’s tennis. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @robert_maler.