Accepting this year’s Scheels Sports “Nice Guy” Award will be Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic, Pat Williams. “While we are disappointed Grant won’t be with us, we are very excited to have Pat. I know our banquet ticket holders will find Pat to be very successful, well spoken and a genuine nice guy” according to banquet committee member, Joe Ornstein. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, January 15,2013, at 6:30pm in the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel.After serving for seven years in the United States Army, Pat spent seven years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, two as a minor league catcher and five in the front office. He also spent three years in the Minnesota Twins organization. Since 1968, he has been affiliated with teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, including the 1983 World Champion 76ers, and now the Orlando Magic which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995. Twenty-three of his teams have gone to the NBA playoffs and five have made the NBA finals. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by a national publication.In his NBA career, he has traded Pete Maravich, traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Penny Hardaway, and won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993 and most recently in 2004. He also drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins and signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. Nineteen of his former players have become NBA head coaches, nine have become college head coaches while seven have become assistant NBA coaches.
Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 21 to 34. For one year, 16 of his children were all teenagers at the same time. He helps teach an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts a weekly radio show. In the last 12 years, he has completed 44 marathons, including the Boston Marathon 11 times, and also climbed MT Rainier.