Former Tennessee men’s basketball forward and two-time SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams did something on Thursday that no other former Vol had done in nearly a decade.
At the 2019 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York, Williams was selected in the first round as the 22nd overall pick to the Boston Celtics, becoming the first Tennessee player since Tobias Harris to be selected in the opening round.
Harris went 19th overall to the Charlotte Bobcats that year.
As for Williams, the 6-foot-7, 236 pound standout announced his decision to enter the draft after three seasons in Knoxville, but left a monumental mark on a Tennessee program that went from barely .500 to a Sweet Sixteen appearance, with a plethora of personal accolades along the way.
Williams was an All-SEC team selection in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons and was twice selected as the SEC Player of the Year, most recently after the 2018-19 season in which he helped lead the Vols to a 31-6 record and a Sweet Sixteen finish in the NCAA Tournament.
During his junior campaign this past season, Williams averaged more than 18 points per game while shooting better than 56-percent from the floor to go along with 7.5 rebounds a game.
Most NBA mock drafts ahead of Thursday had Williams pegged anywhere between a 32nd and 36th overall pick in the first round.
With Williams now off of the board, two more former Tennessee players remain in Admiral Schofield and Jordan Bone.