Home » Australian basketball legend dies after short health battle

Australian basketball legend dies after short health battle

Former NBL star turned popular commentator Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams has died aged 46 following a nine-month battle with cancer.

Williams was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer while in his hometown New York in August last year.

He began treatment in the US before returning to his adopted home of Australia, with the basketball community rallying around the 2010 MVP award winner.

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Williams made a special appearance at the NBL’s awards night in February while just last month the NBL backed a fundraising day to help support Williams and his family.

He was still undergoing treatment as recently as two weeks ago.

“Hard work, but pushing thru,” Williams wrote.

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Williams starred for the Townsville Crocodiles and Melbourne Tigers in the late 2000s and won the MVP award in the 2010 season.

After finishing his playing career overseas he became one of the NBL’s leading media identities.

Williams said in March returning to Australia early in his cancer battle was “the best decision” he made, despite having the support of the majority of his family and other long-time friends in New York.

Corey Williams was loved in his adopted country of Australia. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

“I truly believe that Australia, this place, is going to save my life. I truly believe that, because everything I need is here,” he told the NBL website.

“I need peace, I need the rest, I need great healthcare — I was in really good hands in America, but when you combine all of those little things, this is the place I know, without a doubt, I need to be to heal and get this out of my system.

“I have no question; I literally have no question.”

Williams said he was inspired in his fight by his mother, who died seven years ago following her own battle with cancer.

“She’s watching me, she’s protecting me,” he said.

“I saw cancer destroy her. That was the biggest bully I’ve ever seen. Destroy her… that was my hero.

“And I swore to myself, that s*** ain’t going to destroy me.

“You got the right one, you picked the right one. You’re going to watch me defeat this s****.

“I saw what it did to her — that s*** ain’t gonna happen to me. I’m stronger, I’m younger and I’m ready for this. It ain’t going to beat me.

“I’m going to make sure, what I wish she could have done, I’m going to do for (me).”’

Tributes poured in on social media for the much-loved basketball great.

SEN’s Jarrod Walsh said: “Corey Williams not only was a star player, but he also brought a new hype and marketing presence to the NBL. The league would be years behind without his passionate views and promotion of the game. So so sad.”

Another fan added: “Very sad to hear that Corey Williams has passed away. An NBL icon.”