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    Nov. 8, 2000

    Chicago, Ill. - University of Illinois at Chicago head men's basketball coach Jimmy Collins got a big boost for the Flames' frontcourt today as Joshua Williams, out of nearby Whitney Young High School, signed a national letter of intent to play for UIC next season.

    A 6-foot-8 power forward, Williams made his intentions official Wednesday afternoon at a press conference held at Whitney Young. As a junior last season, Williams averaged 11.2 ppg and 9.9 rpg while leading the Dolphins with a 54% field goal percentage.

    Williams, who earned all-section and all-conference honors as a junior, has received several preseason accolades heading into his senior campaign as he was touted one of the Top 20 power forwards in the Midwest by Midwesthoops.com and one of the Top 10 in Illinois by IllinoisSpotLight.com. Additionally, highschoolelite.com rated Williams and teammate Marcus White Illinois' third-best one-two combo while Street & Smith's named him a preseason All-American honorable mention candidate.

    "Josh brings several outstanding qualities to the plate for us," Collins said. "He is extremely athletic and has a very competitive nature. He can run and jump with the best of them and coming from a world-class program like Whitney Young, I think he's going to help our inside game quite a bit."

    UIC, which recorded a 107-93 exhibition victory over Marathon Oil Tuesday night, will have its final preseason tune-up next Wednesday, Nov. 15, before heading to Saint Louis for the season-opener on Nov. 19.