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New York City street hoops legend James “Fly” Williams accused of running Brooklyn heroin ring

May 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
New York City street hoops legend James “Fly” Williams accused of running Brooklyn heroin ring

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Police have charged New York City basketball legend  James “Fly” Williams with the High-flying playground hoops, was charged as a kingpin whose gang sold 2 million vials of heroin on the streets of Brooklyn.

According to ABC7, Williams, who was a one-time college basketball star and ABA washout, was one of 13 individuals taken into custody for selling drugs in Bushwick, Flatbush, Fort Greene and Brownsville, where he grew up.

The 64-year-old and his crew “had no consideration of the harm suffered by so many from the narcotics they peddled,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.

“They cared about making money, exploiting addicts and the epidemic that is spreading throughout our communities with devastating results,” Gonzalez added.

NYC hoops legend Jimmy “Fly” Williams was arrested for his role in a heroin distribution ring earlier this week

Prosecutors allege that the ring distributed approximately $12 million to $20 million worth of heroin. Thirteen suspects were apprehended in total.

Detectives also seized over $185,000 in cash and another two kilos of heroin to conclude an investigation that was launched last September.

Many of the drug purchases purportedly occurred near the Brownsville Recreation Center, a place where Williams mentored local youths over the course of 15 years.

The 6-foot-5 Williams was a scoring machine at Austin Peay State University in the 1970s, pumping in 28.5 points a game in two seasons at the school in Tennessee.

James “Fly” Williams in a photo issued by the Brooklyn DA (left) and at an Austin Peay State University practice session in 1973 (Photo/Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office (left)/AP (right))

The athlete had a giant Afro, weighed 140 pounds and had no teeth when he secured a spot on the St. Louis team for the 1974-1975 season — which was his only year of pro ball.

His post-basketball career included battles with drugs and alcohol and two stints in prison. Williams survived four shootings, including a 1987 incident that caused him to lose part of his major organs.

For a period in the 1990s, he spoke to kids to urge them to stay away from drugs.

“I’ve been blessed, talentwise,” he told the Daily News. “I know what they mean about a second life because I’m in my second life … Some people think I’m dead, I know.”

James “Fly” Williams once scored 100 points in a game in the famed IS8 summer league in Queens — reportedly scoring 45 in the first half for one team and 55 in the second for the other.

He also dunked on NBA 7-footers Len Elmore and Moses Malone in a summer league game, according to a 2009 Sports Illustrated profile.

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