Shammond Williams was born in the Bronx, grew up in South Carolina and played for the University of North Carolina, so it was a bit of a shock to hear that he will be playing for the Republic of Georgia's national team over the next several years.
In an effort led by former Orlando Magic team-mate and Georgian national team center Zaza Pachulia, the New Orleans Hornets free agent guard was granted Georgian citizenship recently so that he can represent the country in international competition, according to the website Georgian Sports.
Georgia's national team has been inactive in European basketball over the last three years, but last Thursday, with Williams wearing the country's colours, they returned to action in a exhibition win over Russia in a four-squad tournament in Italy, which also included national teams from Italy and Sweden.
Georgia crushed their primary rivals, 87-71, with Williams contributing 26 points and six assists in 35 minutes. Georgia forward Vladimir Boisa led all scorers with 30 points while team-mates Pachulia added 19 points and 21 rebounds and San Antonio Spurs-bound Viktor
|Viktor Sanikidze |
CSKA Moscow forward Sergei Monia, whose draft rights are held by the Portland Trail Blazers, contributed 14 points for Russia.
Williams will play for Georgia until the 2007 European Championships finals.
He was considered to be a possible replacement for Sarunas Jasikevicius had the Lithuanian guard departed Maccabi Tel Aviv but Jasikevicius looks set to remain in Israel to fulfil the one year on his contract.