Hornets' Demps, Williams Speak to Local Construction Companies
By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer
July 27, 2011

During a gathering of 100-plus representatives from New Orleans-area construction companies Tuesday evening, two extremely recognizable faces discussed their own prior experiences working in that industry.

That was my first job, as a construction worker with my granddad, Hornets head coach Monty Williams remembered, as he spoke to the group inside the New Orleans Arena. He did everything. Not only did he help raise me, along with my grandmother and my mom, but he would work 10 hours a day, come home, load the truck up with lawnmowers, shovels, rakes and clippers. I got to ride in his pickup truck in the back. I got a chance to understand that kind of grind.

When I was in college, I worked for a construction company for two years, to help pay the bills, noted Hornets general manager Dell Demps, a basketball star at the University of the Pacific. It was something I really enjoyed and it really helped me out.

As part of the Hornets ongoing 100 Events in 100 Days initiative, the team is inviting local professionals from various industries to visit the Hive and meet with some of the organizations most prominent members, including Williams, Demps and team president Hugh Weber. The 100-event initiative is now just past the halfway mark, with Tuesdays event being No. 52 out of 100.

There are four similar events for local industry professionals between now and Aug. 11. The industries who will visit the Hive over the next two weeks are oil and gas; finance; legal; and medical. On Tuesday, construction reps met Williams, Demps and Weber, while being served dinner at multiple locations in the arena.

After discussing his teenage years when he worked in a blue-collar job with his grandfather, Williams spoke extensively about his first 14 months living in the Crescent City.

Every time I went to the gas station or the grocery store (during the season), all I heard was Im in! or Coach weve got your back get em tomorrow! Williams said. That meant a lot to me. That meant you guys were supporting me and supporting my family.

As he stood on the Hive hardwood, only a few feet from where he patrols the sideline in front of the Hornets bench, Williams recalled one of his best memories from the 2010-11 season.

I have goose bumps right now being back on this floor, Williams told the audience. Because that Game 4 in the playoffs we had against the Lakers, when you (fans) were going crazy (late in a dramatic home victory that tied the series), Ive been in a lot of basketball situations, but never a situation like that. I want more.

Williams, who has been a regular attendee of the teams 100 Events in 100 Days program, said the visits have helped him appreciate the Crescent City and its residents even more than he did during the basketball season.

Im really excited about what were doing, Williams said. These (events) are giving me a chance to get to know the city a little more than I did before. Im really appreciative of the time Ive had. Its given me an opportunity to let all of you know how committed I am.

The bottom line is Im committed to this organization and this city. (My family and I) just bought a house were not renting anymore and are here for the long run. This is not a steppingstone job for me. Im not here to be in New Orleans for a few years, win some games and then go to City X. This is where we want to be. Thats the reason we bought a house.

Who knows? Theres a decent chance someone in Tuesdays audience helped build it.


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