Twins Ramon Williams ’90 and Damon Williams ’90 were inducted into the William Fleming High School Hall of Fame Jan. 11, 2019. They were previously inducted into the VMI Hall of Fame in September 2001.
“It was surreal. The William Fleming induction felt like a community effort; it was all of those little league, middle school and high school coaches, friends and players we competed against who made us better,” Damon stated, regarding their induction into the William Fleming Hall of Fame. “So many had a hand in our success, and you can’t minimize that. It was [our] foundation.”
Coming from a family of five very athletic children, the twins admit that their older brother played a large part in their decision to pursue basketball. “My brother, Greg, was my biggest mentor. I grew up watching Dr. J., Julius Erving, in the NBA,” explained Damon. “But really, Ramon was probably a huge part of the mentoring as we competed [together].” Ramon echoed his brother’s sentiments, stating, “We tried to play like our brother, Greg, who was the one who got us interested in playing basketball.”
The brothers played basketball together throughout high school, graduating in 1986, before making their way to VMI to share the court during their college careers. They explained that they were interchangeable on the court, both playing the same positions. Ramon said that the two always dreamed of playing basketball together in college if they were able to do so, and VMI allowed them that opportunity. While at VMI, they set an NCAA Division I scoring record for twin brothers of 3,252 combined points from 1987-90. This record lasted for 19 years.
Ramon and Damon both attended VMI on athletic scholarships. They were able to get to know their benefactors well during their time at VMI. Ramon explained, “The decision to come to VMI was a tough one, but easy to make. The opportunity to play Division I basketball on an athletic scholarship was one reason, but the academic reputation of VMI and its strong alumni network were the main reasons to come to VMI.”
Damon explained that the biggest lesson he took from his time at VMI was that “your character counts more than anything. Be fair and do the best you can do, no matter the outcome.”
A few years after graduating from the Institute, the brothers created TWIN Hoops® – with TWIN standing for Together We INspire – in 1996 as a way to give back to their community of Roanoke, Virginia. Growing up, the brothers attended a camp in Roanoke called CORD – Community Organization for Research and Development – that provided them with mentors and a place to hone their skills on the basketball court. Summer 2019 will be the 23rd year for TWIN Hoops®. Ramon said, “We were fortunate to have people in our lives who believed in us and gave us an opportunity to develop our skills by attending camps. We took over CORD and combined TWIN Hoops® in the name in 1996. CORD was the hallmark camp everyone attended who played basketball in Roanoke. We didn’t want CORD to go away, so it sort of propelled us to start TWIN Hoops®.” Ramon explained that the camp is “blessed with some great coaches, counselors and volunteers who help make it possible.”
Damon stated that their goal with TWIN Hoops® is to “give back to the community, provide opportunities for others to succeed and represent the values instilled by our parents and others. It’s like the three-legged stool the late Giles Miller ’924 coined that referred to developing the ‘whole’ individual characteristics of a Keydet – the educational development, leadership/military and athletic prowess so that we are all better prepared to serve our communities.”
Following their time at VMI, the brothers pursued entrepreneurship by starting a trucking company together. Ramon went on to a 22-year basketball coaching career, starting at Salem High School before moving to coaching positions at VMI, the University of Richmond, DePaul University, Ohio University and Virginia Tech. He also mentored three NBA draft picks during that time. In 2014, Ramon decided to switch gears from coaching and started a career in fundraising at the VMI Foundation. Damon has taught special needs children and coached boys’ and girls’ high school basketball as well as men’s basketball at the collegiate level. He has worked in banking as a regional community development officer in Roanoke for more than 19 years.
Jordan Whitman Editor-in-Chief
The editor-in-chief manages the day-to-day operations of Alumni Agencies publications, including oversight of the production process of the Alumni Review magazine and Turnouts, the Agencies’ digital newsletter. The editor is responsible for layout design and editing digital and print content, as well as coordinating with outside writers and photographers as needed.