Since being sidelined in 2009 due to a bout with a rare blood disorder, it has been a constant on and off, up and down career for Talk ‘N Text’s Kelly Williams.
Having to deal with several ailments has forced him to miss a huge chunk of his PBA career. There would be moments where Williams would enter the Tropang Texters’ practice facility not to train, but to announce that he’d be leaving indefinitely.
The latest chapter in that roller-coaster ride happened in November last year, when the Talk ‘N Text forward faced pneumonia. Much has been said via his blog “What’s The Point?” published last January. Here’s a paragraph of that post below, giving the people a glimpse of how painful it was for the former PBA Most Valuable Player:
“Why do I do this? Why can’t I forget all the ‘rise higher’ stuff and just break some things this time? Yup, that’s me asking myself that. See, after battling a bout of pneumonia, getting fluid drained from atop one of my lungs twice, then ringing in my 2015 with a foot long pigtail catheter stuck in my chest for a week, which brought me some of the worst uncomfortable pain I’ve had to endure in my life, I was building a good case. This was in a span of almost eight weeks. Now, counting all the blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds and follow-ups, I was in the hospital about 70% of the time. Of course, I’ve been no stranger to the place, having to deal with this blood disorder I’ve had since April 2009. Don’t get me started on how much I hate dealing with the medication that I’ve had to take for it though. I’ve tried to vent my full frustration about Prednisone in this blog post from 2011. I’ll just say that six years on that awful steroid will definitely change a person. Not to mention it certainly didn’t mix well with the antibiotics I had to take for my recent issues.”
Williams also missed several games in the Commissioner’s Cup, and he last suited up on February 4 in a loss against Meralco . [READ: Meralco escapes feisty Talk ‘N Text to go 3-0]
To say Williams has been suffering is an understatement. In spite of times where he just wanted to give it all up after six long years of agony, basketball still drives him to keep going.
It would have been more painful for him to just be watching PBA games in America than actually playing. After every disease or injury that forced him to sit down, Williams always stages a return.
On Wednesday, with the Tropang Texters already ahead by a mile against a struggling San Miguel crew, head coach Jong Uichico approached Williams to tell him to check in.
Williams got up, raced to the scorers table, and behind him were fans clad in blue and gold, who backed the forward with loud chants of “Kelly! Kelly!” – a moment Williams was there for.
“When I heard that, I got a bit emotional going to the scorers table. When you see that, when you went through stuff, and you feel you’re alone and nobody cares or understands. Seeing that response, it gives you a lift. I’ve always been thankful. To hear that, really felt good,” Williams said.
“It’s a tough battle but that’s just life. You just take a go with the bad and try to work my way back into shape. I am just thankful for my teammates and coaches who helped me get back in shape. I feel great and I’m ready.”
Williams may have grabbed a rebound and just one attempt in over three minutes of play, but it was about being able to step on hardwood again, after spending so much time recuperating and receiving treatment.
“It’s a long process. It’s a lot of working out and sorting things together. With the blood disorder I’ve been on medication for six years now. I’ve accepted that, and I’m just here to balance that out. If something changes, it changes, but I am doing well with it,” he said.
“I found a way around it. It’s just it is what it is. I am ready. Before the pneumonia, I was playing at a high level with the training we had in the offseason. So it’s about getting back to that.”
It was another emotional return for one of the toughest guys in the league. What is clear to the people is Williams just isn’t going to stop, because basketball is what he loves.
Like what it says in one of his books, it’s about rising higher.