After His Wife's Death, This NBA Star's Message Will Inspire You
Monty Williams seemed to have it all. A basketball standout at Notre Dame, he averaged a 22.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in the 93-94 season. After getting drafted by the Knicks, he enjoyed a successful NBA career before moving in to coaching. He had money, success and fame.
Behind his success was his beautiful wife Ingrid, whom he married after his rookie season. She was his rock as they moved from city to city for his career, and she spent her time raising their five children, volunteering and supporting her husband at games.
But February 9, 2016, everything changed. Driving home from their daughter’s basketball game, with three of their children in tow, Ingrid was struck by Susannah Donaldson, who was travelling 80 mph, nearly twice the speed limit. Toxicology reports showed that Donaldson had taken copious amounts of methamphetamine that day, and she died on impact.
After being rushed to the hospital, Ingrid passed away the next day, leaving Monty as a single father to five children. The outpouring of love and support from the NBA community was immediate and substantial. Players and coaches flew in for the memorial service to express their love for Monty and his family.
To many’s surprise, Monty chose to speak at his wife’s memorial service. His message was one of forgiveness and hope:
“Life is hard. It is very hard. And that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family, and we as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well. So let’s not lose sight of what’s important.”
He also reminded memorial attendees that Ingrid and Monty’s faith gave them hope of being reunited.
“Let’s celebrate because my wife is where we all need to be. And I’m envious of that. But I’ve got five crumb-snatchers that I need to deal with. I love you guys for taking time out of your day to celebrate my wife. We didn’t lose her. When you lose something, you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is.”
Monty’s act of forgiveness inspired his children, the NBA community and sports fans everywhere. We should follow his example to live with a spirit of forgiveness.
Read a great feature on Monty and Ingrid at Sports Illustrated: https://www.si.com/nba/2017/04/06/monty-williams-wife-ingrid-family-tragedy-spurs-thunder-pelicans