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Miami Heat Player Countdown: #84-81

Welcome back to the Heat countdown. Today, let's retrack the Heat contributions of Walt Williams, Tellis Frank, Rory Sparrow, and John Crotty.

84. Walt Williams

Walt Williams was a 6'8" small forward from Washington D.C. Born on April 16th, 1970, he graduated from Crossland High School in Temple, MD in 1988. He joined the Terrapins at the University of Maryland, playing four seasons and averaging 27 points, five rebounds, and four assists per game as a senior. The Sacramento Kings chose him in the first round of the 1992 draft, with the seventh overall pick. Williams, also known as "The Wiz," played four seasons with the Kings (238 games), scoring 15 points with 4.5 rebounds and three assists per game. The Kings sent him along with Tyrone Corbin to the Heat for Kevin Gamble and Billy Owens on February 22nd, 1996.

Williams played in 28 games for Miami, starting all of them at small forward. He played 28 minutes a night, shooting 46.3% from the floor and 45.5% from deep. He scored a dozen points with four rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. On March 8 in a 109-79 win over the Toronto Raptors, he went eight-for-13, scoring 21 points with eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals. He scored 23 points with five steals on March 22nd in a 122-106 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. He made three postseason appearances, scoring 14 points with 12 rebounds and five assists over three losses to the Chicago Bulls. The Heat released him following the season.

Williams went on to play with the Toronto Raptors (101 games), the Portland Trail Blazers (79 games), the Houston Rockets (196 games), and the Dallas Mavericks (66 games).

All-Time HEATline: One season, 28 games, 28.1 minutes, 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks, 15.1 PER, 2.2 win shares.

83. Tellis Frank

Tellis Frank, born on April 26th, 1965, is a 6'10" power forward from Gary, IN. After graduating Lew Wallace High School in his hometown, he went on to play four seasons in college with the University of Western Kentucky. As a senior in 1986-87, heaveraged 18 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per appearance. The Golden State Warriors chose him in the first round of that season's draft, with the 14th overall selection.

Frank played with Golden State for two seasons (110 games), scoring seven point with four rebounds per game. Before the 1989-90 season, the Warriors sent him to the Heat for a second round pick (Steve Bardo).

Frank played 77 games with the Heat, starting 39 of them at the power forward position. He shot 45.8%, scoring 9.5 per contest with five rebounds and an assist. He finished in double figures 40 times, including four double doubles. On the 11th of November, he scored 18 points with four rebounds and three assists in a win over the Houston Rockets, 101-99. On January 26th, he scored 16 points on six-of-nine shooting with six boards and four assists as the Heat lost to the Indiana Pacers, 115-105. The club released him during the offseason.

Frank went on to play with Phonola Caserta (Italy), the Minnesota TimberWolves (77 games), Pitch Cholet (France), TDK Manresa (Spain), Caja San Fernando (Spain), Leon Caja Espana (Spain), Scandone Avellino (Italy), Basket Livorno (Italy), and Longobardi Scafati (Italy).

All-Time HEATline: One season, 77 games, 22.9 minutes, 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 11.1 PER, 2.2 win shares

82. Rory Sparrow

Rory Sparrow, a 6'2" point guard from Suffolk, VA, was born June 12th, 1958. An alum of Eastside High in Paterson, NJ, he attended Villanova University for four collegiate seasons, averaging 11 points and two and a half rebounds as a senior in 1979-80. The New Jersey Nets selected him in the fourth round of the draft that year, with the 75th overall pick.

Sparrow totalled 15 games that season with the Nets, playing the balance of the season with the CBA's Scranton Aces. After his rookie season, he played with the Atlanta Hawks (131 games), the New York Knicks (347 games), and the Chicago Bulls (55 games). The Heat signed him just before their first game in 1988 to a free agent contract worth $275,000.

With Miami, Sparrow played 80 games that season, all but one as a starter. He played almost 33 minutes per game, scoring 12.5 points on 45.2% field goal shooting with 2.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest. He finished in double figures 53 times, including a dozen efforts where he finished with at least 20. He also posted five double doubles. On February 17th, the Heat hosted fellow expansion-ites the Charlotte Hornets, winning 103-102. Sparrow sunk the game winner at the buzzer as commemorative gift fly swatters rained down upon the court. On March 10th, in a 131-130 win against the Denver Nuggets, he led the team with 28 points (on 13-of-18 shooting) with nine assists. On March 15th, he scored a season and game high 29 points with eight assists in a 109-103 Heat victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. On April 18th, he notched a triple double in a 103-99 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, scoring 24 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Miami's sophomore campaign would see Sparrow in all 82 games, averaging six points with three and a half assists in 21 minutes per night. He had 21 double digit efforts through the season. On March 7th, he put up his best numbers of the season, scoring 19 points with eight assists and three rebounds in 28 minutes of a 122-105 win over new cross-state rival the Orlando Magic.

During the 1990 offseason, the Heat traded Sparrow to the Sacramento Kings for Bimbo Coles. He played 80 games in
Sacramento, later appearing with the Chicago Bulls (four games) and the Los Angeles Lakers (42 games). In 1994, he went to work as the player programs manager for the NBA league office.

All-Time HEATline: Two seasons, 162 games, 27.0 minutes, 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.5 PER, 2.3 win shares.

81. John Crotty

John Crotty was a 6'1" point guard from Orange, NJ. Born on July 15th, 1969, the graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ earned national attention by making the McDonald's All American team as a senior. He played with the University of Virginia Cavaliers for four college seasons. Over his last two years, he averaged 16 points and six assists per appearance.After going undrafted out of Virginia, he didn't play professionally the next season, signing a free agent contract with the Utah Jazz during the 1992 offseason.

Crotty played 205 games over three seasons with the Jazz. He latched on with the Cleveland Cavaliers for 58 games in 1995-96. The Cavs released him after the season. Miami signed him to consecutive 10-day contracts and eventually for the rest of the season on January 9th, 1997.

Crotty played 48 games for the Heat, shooting 51.3% from the field and 40.8% from deep. He scored about five points per game along with just over two assists. He scored more than nine points just six times during his stay in South Beach. On January 27th, in a 125-97 win over the Phoenix Suns, he scored a season high 18 points with five assists and three rebounds. Later, he appeared in 15 playoff games with the team, scoring 37 points with 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 125 total minutes played. Miami lost the Eastern Conference Finals in five games to the Chicago Bulls.

Crotty left Miami via free agency in July soon after the conclusion of the NBA's postseason. He signed on with the Portland TrailBlazers (29 games), then the Seattle SuperSonics (24 games), the Detroit Pistons (69 games), the Utah Jazz (72 games) and the Denver Nuggets (12 games).

All-Time HEATline: One season, 48 games, 13.7 minutes, 4.8 points, 1.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, 13.0 PER, 2.4 win shares.