Hey Deacs, and welcome to Launch Week of the “Wake The Nation” 2018 TBT Roster. After announcing last week that Wake Forest would have its first alumni team in the increasingly popular “The Basketball Tournament” later this summer, the time has come to start unveiling who will be back in Black and Gold aiming for the $2m cash prize. Every day this week at 12PM BSD and the “Wake The Nation” Twitter/IG accounts will release a former Deacon player committed to the team to get fans excited for what’s to come.
While the roster is still not fully set, some of your favorite Deacs of the last 20 years have officially joined up and will be announced today through Sunday as the road to TBT continues. The first player to be confirmed for this much-anticipated Deacon squad? LD Williams, who has helped put together this team from scratch and is thrilled to be playing for Wake Forest fans once again this summer.
ROSTER ANNOUNCEMENT— WAKE THE NATION (@WakeDaNationTBT) April 9, 2018
Our 1️⃣st player for @thetournament is:
-The ONLY Deacon to earn multiple All-ACC Defensive team honors
-A 3️⃣-year captain
-A 4️⃣-year starter
-1️⃣ of the best dunkers in @WakeMBB history
Welcome @ldwilliams_4 ! pic.twitter.com/sUiSPpuN0G
LD Williams was a 4 year starter and one of the most exciting players to wear Black and Gold of the last couple decades. His high-flying athleticism and energy made him a fan favorite during his time in Winston-Salem, as he was one of the most consistent pieces of a strong Deacon team from 2006-2010. Over the course of his career, LD averaged more than 8 PPG and shot 50+% from the field, all while being a defensive cornerstone of the Wake Forest roster. He remains the only player in program history to earn multiple All-ACC Defensive Team selections.
Since Wake Forest, LD has carved out a successful pro career abroad and here in the NBA G-League. Out of college, Williams played two seasons for the Springfield Armor averaging 10.8 and 15.6 PPG respectively, and also winning the 2012 NBA D-League Dunk Contest. If one thing is for sure, it’s that LD’s ability to dominate above the rim certainly didn’t fade after he left Wake Forest. Don’t just take my word for it; check out the highlights of the contest below and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
After a season in France for JL Bourg, LD returned to the Springfield Armor franchise for the 2013-15 seasons (Rebranded as the Grand Rapids Drive after affiliating with the Pistons), and then moved over to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2015-16. His most recent career move has been across the Atlantic to Finnish side ToPo, where he averaged over 17 PPG and helped lead the club to the league’s semifinals this spring.
LD will bring a level of intensity, excitement, and leadership to this team that Wake fans were familiar with from his time in Black and Gold. His work to put together Wake’s first TBT team is a testament to how competitive he thinks they can be this summer and how close the Wake basketball family truly is. In a “Survive & Advance” tournament like TBT, you need guys who can lock down opposing teams’ standout players and get a key stop in crunch time. LD has that type of quality on the defensive end, and at the end of the day, I don’t think Deacon fans would mind seeing a highlight or two like this at some point later this summer either...
Be sure to check in tomorrow at noon as we continue to roll out a new player on the “Wake The Nation” TBT squad every day this week!
PSA: If you haven’t become a “Supporter” on the Official TBT site of the Wake Forest team, sign up here. It’s free, takes 10 seconds, and the Top 9 vote-getting teams of the South Region are automatically selected for the tournament. Help some of your favorite Deacon stars on “Wake The Nation” get a bid to one of the best sporting events of the summer here.
Official “Wake The Nation” TBT Site: https://thetournament.com/teams/wake-nation-wake-forest-alumni