Many players from the Celtics team, known for their title-winning history, will be playing in the NBA Finals for the first time, including Boston power forward Grant Williams.
Not only does the 23-year-old have the distinction of being one of two active Celtics with the surname Williams — unrelated to teammate Robert Williams III — Grant claims Houston is his birthplace. And what’s even more remarkable, his mother is a pioneering NASA electrical engineer.
According to her son, Teresa Johnson is one of the agency’s first black women engineers.
Before becoming Boston’s first-round pick in 2019, Williams recounted Stadion that she was a driving force in the endurance needed on his journey to the NBA.
“(Just) how smart she is, I respect her. She gave me the mind I have right now,” Williams said, also praising his father, Gilbert Williams, who is a jazz artist and former college athlete. “The ability to learn outside of basketball and also within the sport comes from both of my parents.”
It shouldn’t surprise William’s parents that he did, in fact, receive offers to play at Harvard and Yale, but he instead went to the SEC’s Tennessee Volunteers, for which he would go on to win the conference’s Player of the Year title in consecutive seasons.
How attracted was his mother’s life at NASA? Quite a lot, he says.
“My mom brought work home,” Williams recalled of his childhood. “To understand that life is about more than just where we are right now.”
Johnson, Williams says, was also part of the team that helped build the International Space Station. At the time of the Stadium interview, Williams said his mother was working to protect the astronauts.
Williams isn’t quite a regular starter for the Celtics, but he has proven to be a reliable bench player, averaging 30 minutes per game in the 18 playoff games he appeared in.
Watch as Williams and his Boston team take on the Warriors on Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. on ABC13 as the 2022 NBA Finals begins Game 1.
NBA Finals schedule
- Game 1: Boston in the Golden State, Thursday, June 2, 8 p.m
- game 2: Boston in the Golden State, 7 p.m., Sunday, June 5
- game 3: Golden State at Boston, 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 8
- game 4: Golden State in Boston, Friday, June 10, 8 p.m
- game 5*: Boston in the Golden State, Monday, June 13, 8 p.m
- game 6*: Golden State in Boston, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 16
- game 7*: Boston in the Golden State, Sunday, June 19, 7 p.m
All games are on ABC13. All times are Central Time.
* – if necessary
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https://abc13.com/nba-finals-boston-golden-state-celtics-warriors-grant-williams/11908905/ NBA Finals Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors: Houston-born Grant Williams’ mother works as a NASA engineer