Professional basketball coach Monty Williams’s life changed forever on Feb. 10, 2016. His 44-year-old wife, Ingrid, died from fatal injuries after her car was hit head-on by an SUV. The oncoming car lost control. The other driver, 52-year-old Susannah Donaldson, also died.
Many are finding inspiration this morning in the words of assistant Thunder coach Monty Williams.His wife was killed tragically in a head on collision.bit.ly/1OjoEB0
Donaldson was driving at 92 miles per hour and had methamphetamine in her system, reported the Daily Mail.
According to People, three of the Williamses’ five children were also inside Ingrid’s car at the time. They were taken to hospital with serious injuries, but survived.
"The Lord has given me a level of strength that I didn’t have and still don't."
In Williams’s moving eulogy at Ingrid’s funeral in Oklahoma City, however, the NBA star refused to focus on what he had lost. Instead, he urged the congregation to practice forgiveness.
The gathered crowd of 900 attendees, including NBA coaches and players, prayed for Williams and his five children left without a mother. But Williams urged his guests to extend their prayers just a little further. “Let’s not forget there were two people in this situation,” he addressed, in a touching speech that was transcribed in its entirety by The Oklahoman.
The service was attended by a group of NBA coaches and players.
“That family needs prayer as well,” Williams continued. “We hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family.”
“My wife would punch me if I were to sit up here and whine about what is going on,” Williams continued, warming hearts and rousing smiles. “That doesn’t take away the pain,” he opened up, “but it will work out, because God causes all things to work out.”
“You just can’t quit; you can’t give in.”
Williams and Ingrid met at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Williams played basketball, and Ingrid was a track and field star; the couple’s values aligned and they were married for 20 years.
They even co-wrote a book together, titled Look Again 52, a guide for Bible worshipers to discover the book of God over the course of a calendar year.
“It’s not over for him, he’s got five kids,” funeral guest and L.A. Clippers coach Glenn Anton “Doc” Rivers commented, according to USA Today. “It was almost a celebration, but for a sad reason.”
“I got five crumb snatchers to deal with,” Williams added to his eulogy with a smile, referring to the couple’s five children, Lael, Faith, Janna, Elijah, and Micah. His upbeat comment prompted a laugh from sympathetic mourners and reminded people to have faith in the future.
Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers, a long-term friend and colleague, called the bereaved coach “a special, special man. I told him he ain’t always got to be the strong one,” Paul continued, as quoted by ABC News. “You could see from the outpouring how strong he is and how much he’s loved.”
“We all could learn something from him.”
Assistant coach Monty Williams will not return to the team this season after the passing of his wife Ingrid last month.
Houston Rockets player Austin Rivers admitted: “It was tough to see something like that happen to such a good guy,” adding, “Ingrid is one of the sweetest people I ever met.”
Williams’s eulogy had touched every attendee.
"This is hard for my family, but this will work out. And my wife would punch me if I were to sit up here and whine about what is going on. That doesn't take away the pain, but it will work out because God causes all things to work out. You just can't quit; you can't give in."WATCH: Powerful and moving euology from Oklahoma City Thunder coach Monty Williams at his wife's funeral, where he calls for love and forgiveness: http://es.pn/1QnTEHG – ESPN NBA
Posted by Good Morning America on Friday, February 19, 2016
Six months after his wife’s funeral, Williams spoke to The Undefeated. “Quitting is not an option,” Williams stated, “it’s just life. You have to be able to get up [and] face your flaws,” the NBA coach continued.
“Whatever it is—a step, an inch—you just gotta keep moving forward.”