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Bucs' Williams subs in for Macker

Mike Williams is no stranger to the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament of Buffalo.

The former Riverside star played in more than his share of Mackers as a youth.

Still, it was a shocking sight Saturday when Williams, the star wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fired jumpers, battled for body position and accidentally bloodied another player with an elbow during a top men's division game with the South Buffalo Celtics.

It wasn't planned.

Williams was supposed to be coaching the team for a friend, but when his big man failed to show up -- Williams pulled a Bill Russell.

"I couldn't leave my team hanging so I went in there," said Williams, who caught a team-leading 11 touchdowns and averaged 14.8 yards per catch on 65 receptions as an NFL rookie in 2010. "A lot of people were screaming Mike Williams on the sidelines so it feels good to be back home."

Williams' team went 0-2 Saturday, although he did score six of his team's eight points in the Celtics' second defeat. That didn't console him, though, as his Macker title hopes ended with the loss.

"It was fun though, a good workout," said Williams, who did sign autographs.

Williams joins 2010 Stanley Cup champion Patrick Kane as a local star in one of the big four professional leagues to have participated in the Macker the past two years.

Williams wasn't worried about getting hurt, although he planned to sit out the second game until being pressed into action once again.

Basketball is just one vehicle Williams is using to help stay in shape during the NFL lockout.

e-mail: mrodriguez@buffnews.com