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Former Kings star Williamson returns as assistant coach

The Canadian Press

8/2/2013 11:23:39 AM

CONWAY, Ark. -- Corliss Williamson is returning to the NBA, this time as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings.

Williamson, who was drafted by the Kings with the 13th overall pick in 1995, spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Central Arkansas.

"I honestly couldn't see myself leaving for any situation other than an opportunity to go back to Sacramento," Williamson said in a statement released by the school. "It's a place where I cut my teeth as a rookie in the NBA, spent over half of my career there. It's an area that reminds me a lot of Arkansas, with the people, the fans they have there. It's just a great opportunity that I have now to return there and be able to coach at the highest level."

The former All-American at Arkansas spent three seasons coaching at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock before that. His return to the NBA was first reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.

Williamson played for 12 seasons in the NBA, retiring in 2007. He played for the Kings from 1995-2000 and 2005-07. The Russellville, Ark., native won an NBA championship while with Detroit in 2004, and he was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year while with the Pistons from 2001-02.

Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague said associate head coach Clarence Finley would take over the Bears on an interim basis for the upcoming season, with the program seeking a long-term hire after the 2013-14 season.

Williamson took over UCA in 2010, finishing 26-62 in three seasons. His final team finished 13-17, the school's second-highest win total since moving to Division I in 2006, and was 7-11 in the Southland Conference.

"His hard work is now showing in the level of talent and character his student-athletes bring to our program," Teague said. "We appreciate all he has done for UCA basketball to lay a foundation for future success. The Sacramento Kings will now have a valuable coaching assistant for their team and community. I know Corliss will contribute greatly to their success and we wish him well.