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“Being a father is a privilege,” Former OKC Thunder coach’s tear-jerking speech about moving on after wife’s death

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It was a big night for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

During the 2017 NBA Awards, several Oklahoma City players were recognized for their talents.

Russell Westbrook came away from the award show with several trophies. He was honored with the MVP award, Best Style and Game Winner of the Year

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo won the NBA award for Dunk of the Year.

However, a former Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach was also honored after a heartbreaking tragedy.

In 2016, the community was stunned when the wife of Thunder coach Monty Williams died in a car accident.

Police say 44-year-old Ingrid Williams died following a  car accident near S.W. 17th St. and Western Ave.

Ingrid & Monty Williams

Following her death, Williams left the Thunder in order to take care of their five children.

On Monday night, Monty Williams was honored with the Sager Strong Award, named after Craig Sager. 

In an emotional speech, Williams spoke about moving forward during trying times.

“Being a father is a privilege, it is not my job, it not a responsibility, it is an honor. When this situation came about, all I could think about was taking care of my kids and I could not do that if I didn’t have the support of my NBA family. Oklahoma City- you guys are here tonight. What happened in your city was not your fault. I couldn’t be here, I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for you guys. I’m so thankful for the latitude that you gave me to be able to leave work and take care of my family. Couldn’t do it without you,” Williams said.

He also thanked the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans for their support throughout his career.

Williams also thanked his children for giving him the strength to continue after Ingrid’s death.

“I’ve gotten a lot of acclaim for taking care of you kids. I want you to know that you’re not a job. I am honored to take care of you. The Bible says that you are a blessing and you have been. And no one knows me like you guys do. I know that I am not the man that everybody thinks that I am, and you guys know that. But the reason that I get up and do what I do is because of you all. I want to take care of you and I want to be an example to you, but I can’t do that if you don’t give me that strength. And you’ve done that this past year-and- a-half, and so I love you guys,” he said.