Ronnie Williams, who grew up in Long Island City’s Queensbridge Houses and achieved basketball stardom with the University of Florida in the early 1980s, died last Sunday after a two-year struggle with brain cancer, according to Gatorsports, a news website dedicated to UF sports.

He was 59, and according to the website worked for more than 20 years at a juvenile detention center in Brooklyn. Williams’ death also was noted on the Facebook page of the group Queensbridge Reunion.

He leaves his wife and six children.

The four-year-starter for the University of Florida from 1980 to 1984 is the Gators’ all-time leading scorer with 2,090 points, and is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

He was drafted in the second round by the Boston Celtics, but did not make the team. Williams played professionally overseas and also had stints in the Continental Basketball Association and the UnitesdStates Basketball League. Gatorsports listed numerous honors including Southeast Conference Freshman of the Year and four All-SEC team selections.

— Michael Gannon


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