Illinois Basketball: Best father-son combos in Illini history

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Illinois basketball

7 Feb 2002: Frank Williams #30 of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini stands on the court during the Big-10 Conference basketball game against the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Fighting Illini defeated the Wolverines 68-60. \ Mandatory Credit: Danny Moloshok/Getty Images

The Illinois basketball team has had a few father-son combos come through the program.

Here are a few of the best father-son combos throughout history.

1. Father – Frank Williams; Son – Da’Monte Williams

I would make the argument, and it really isn’t an argument, that the best father-son combination in Illinois basketball history has to be Frank and Da’Monte Williams. Unless I am missing someone, this duo has to be one of the most dynamic.

Frank was easily the better player out of him and Da’Monte. Frank entered the scene back in 1999 when Illinois was trying to get back to their glory days just a decade earlier. Snagging Frank was one of the bigger accomplishments by soon-to-be Atlanta Hawks coach, Lon Kruger.

The three years Frank was with the program were incredible. He ended up averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Frank was also a two-time All-Big Ten player and won the Big Ten Player of the Year award in 2000-01. In the time he was there, Illinois went to the Final 32, Elite 8 and the Sweet 16.

While the talent hasn’t necessarily transitioned over to Frank’s son, Da’Monte still has a solid place in the Illinois lineup today. He joined the Orange and Blue despite having the head coach who recruited him, John Groce, get fired right before he came on board. Da’Monte stuck with his pledge, though.

Through three seasons with the program, Da’Monte has averaged 3.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. His defense has really helped this team win some games, and his three-point shooting started to take off toward the end of last season.

The first two years were rough team-wise for Da’Monte. Illinois finally broke through this past season and was bound for the NCAA tournament, only to have it canceled due to Covid-19. I still chalk it up as a postseason berth, though.

Frank and Da’Monte were both fun to watch in their own ways while with the Illinois basketball team. I would say they are the best father-son combo in program history.

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