Basketball Legend Arrested for Leading Heroin Ring

James Williams

Playground superstar facing multiple charges

James “Fly” Williams is 6-5, and in his prime, was a legend on the playground courts of New York City.

Unfortunately, the talented player, now 64-years-old, is facing multiple charges for heroin distribution in New York.

According to the Bleacher Report, Williams was arrested on May 3rd in his fourth-floor apartment in Jamaica, Queens, where he’d lived for 12 years.

Police recovered a loaded firearm and 32 glassines of heroin ($6-$10 packages) on the premises. Williams was initially arrested on six felony charges, the most serious among them being criminal sale of a controlled substance. Later filings would reveal dozens of other charges and that, following a monthslong investigation, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office believed Fly to be a heroin kingpin.

Al Skinner, who played six years across the ABA and NBA, faced off against Williams a number of times growing up. “He was exceptional. Most guys can only handle, but he could shoot too. At 6’5″, athletic, he had all the tools.”

In 1973, Fly became a central character in what would become Rick Telander’s book Heaven Is a Playground, which chronicled the lives of various Brooklyn streetballers. “This guy was out on the edge,” Telander now says of Fly. “He was missing a bunch of teeth, had a gigantic Afro with a pick in it, and he was so skinny. He was manic, hilarious and over the top. At the same time, you could tell there was a lot of pain there.”

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To read more about legendary basketball player James Williams, please visit The Bleacher Report.

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