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Former Gonzaga standout Johnathan Williams signs with pro team in Israel

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 5, 2019, 8:07 p.m.

Houston’s Johnathan Williams shoots a free throw against the Utah Jazz in an NBA Summer League game in July. (John Locher / AP)
Houston’s Johnathan Williams shoots a free throw against the Utah Jazz in an NBA Summer League game in July. (John Locher / AP)

Former Gonzaga Bulldog Johnathan Williams is heading overseas to continue his professional basketball career.

Williams signed recently with Maccabi Rishon in Israel.

The 6-foot-9 forward spent his rookie year on a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. The undrafted Williams played in 24 games for the Lakers, averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.5 minutes. He made 59.1% of his field-goal attempts.

Williams also played in 36 games with the G League South Bay Lakers. He put up 15.2 points and 8.7 rebounds and started 31 games.

Williams joined the Houston Rockets in the NBA Summer League last month. In five games, the Memphis native averaged 21.2 minutes, 8.4 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Williams was a two-time All-WCC selection at Gonzaga. He led the Zags in scoring (13.4) and rebounding (8.5) as a senior and was AP All-America honorable mention. Williams, who transferred to Gonzaga from Missouri, helped the Zags compile a 69-7 record in two seasons.

Melson joining Polish squad

Former Gonzaga guard Silas Melson has signed with Polpharma, the Polish professional team announced Monday.

Melson had stints last season with Lavrio in Greece, Hapoel Beer Sheva in Israel and Al Ahli in Qatar in his first season of professional basketball.

Melson averaged 9.3 points and 3.1 rebounds as a senior as the Zags reached the 2018 Sweet 16. The Portland native started all 37 games as GU finished 32-5.

Melson averaged 6.7 points in 143 career games at Gonzaga.

Texas Southern returns

Gonzaga will entertain Texas Southern for the third straight season at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The contest will be held Dec. 4, shortly after the Zags return from the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Josh Perkins had 19 points and 11 assists and Brandon Clarke added 19 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks as Gonzaga thumped the Tigers 104-67 last November. The Zags crushed TSU 97-69 two years ago in the season opener.

Texas Southern typically plays one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country. The Tigers defeated Baylor, Oregon and Texas A&M last season en route to a 24-14 campaign that ended in the semifinals of the Collegeinsider.com Tournament.

The Tigers lose their top four scorers from last season. Forward Eden Ewing, who was recently granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, will be TSU’s leading returning scorer (9.3 points) and rebounder (7.0).

Gibbs takes reins of G League team

Grant Gibbs, who played one season at Gonzaga before transferring to Creighton, has been named head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s G League team.

Gibbs saw limited playing time at Gonzaga in 2010. He went on to average 7.6 points and 5 assists as a three-year starter for the Bluejays. Gibbs played three years professionally overseas before becoming an OKC Blue assistant the last two seasons.

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