Williams, who was honored by The Sports Museum on June 24, 2008, on the NESN-televised event The Tradition, died peacefully in his home over the weekend. He was 46.
“It was very unexpected,” his sister Karmel Williams told the Boston Herald. “He must have passed away in his sleep.”
When he was 15, Williams was struck in the neck by a bullet in what was believed to be a racially motivated attack during a high school football game in 1978. Williams was standing in the end zone with his Jamaica Plain High School teammates at halftime of a game at Charlestown High School. He was paralyzed from the neck down.
The high school football star, basketball player and musician who mastered the bass guitar, lead guitar and piano went on to become one of Boston’s most inspiring motivational speakers.
The Sports Museum honored Williams with a “Special Achievement Award” for his work, which was largely based on forgiveness and compassion.
“His spirits were always great,” Karmel Williams added. “He was a happy-go-lucky person.”
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