Duke retires number of Shelden Williams

Updated: January 29, 2007, 8:38 AM ET
Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke retired Oklahoma native Shelden Williams' No. 23 jersey on Sunday, honoring the two-time national defensive player of the year who helped the Blue Devils win three conference championships.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward, who starred at Midwest City High School, became the 12th player in Duke history to have his jersey retired. Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, was honored during a ceremony at halftime of the Duke-Boston College game.

Williams averaged 13.9 points for his four-year career (2002-06) and set school career records with 422 blocks and 1,262 rebounds. Williams helped the Blue Devils reach the 2004 Final Four and three appearances in the NCAA tournament's round of 16. Duke also won three ACC tournament titles with Williams, who was the fifth overall pick in last summer's NBA draft.

"I never actually thought about having my jersey retired," Williams said shortly before the game. "I knew it was something that if I had a chance, it would be great to have. When I came back my senior year, I told myself I want to do the best I can and try to help this team out and whatever leads from there leads from there."

Former teammate J.J. Redick, who finished as the Atlantic Coast Conference's career scoring leader, will have his jersey retired Feb. 4.

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Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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