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Jayson Williams signs with CBA's Stampede
Boise, ID (Sports Network) - Less than nine months after his acquittal on aggravated manslaughter charges, former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams has signed a deal with the CBA's Idaho Stampede franchise.
Williams, who still faces reckless manslaughter charges in the February 14, 2002, shooting of limousine driver Costas "Gus" Christofi, will be in uniform Wednesday night for Idaho's game against the Yakima SunKings.
He is optimistic that a stint in the CBA will provide him with an opportunity to return to the NBA.
"I love basketball and look forward to competing again at the sport that I hold so dear," said Williams, who retired from basketball in 2000 because of a leg injuries. "Interested NBA teams want assurances that I am completely recovered and that I am able to deal with rigors of daily competition. The very competitive CBA will provide me this opportunity."
A potential return to the league where he was a player for nine seasons could be hindered, though, by a retrial scheduled for March on the reckless manslaughter charge.
"I respect the legal process and understand the road before me, yet I desire to use the gifts and skills God has given me as a basketball player," Williams said.
The 36-year-old Williams was found guilty on four of eight charges stemming from the shotgun death of Christofi at the former NBA All-Star's northern New Jersey estate.
In addition to the not-guilty verdict handed down on aggravated manslaughter charges, he was also found not guilty of aggravated assault as well as possession of a weapon with unlawful purpose.
Williams was found guilty on the cover-up charges of hindering apprehension, tampering with a witness, tampering with evidence and fabricating physical evidence. He faces up to 13 years in prison on the four counts, but is unlikely to serve that much time.
Reckless manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years.
A first-round draft pick in 1990, the 6-foot-10 Williams averaged 7.3 points and 7.5 rebounds with the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. His career ended in 1999 when he broke his right leg and injured his right knee.
01/12 19:13:57 ET