Willie B. Norwood, Sr. was born in Carroll County in Carrollton, Mississippi to Percy and Charlie Pauline Lott Norwood on August 8. 1947.
His religious journey with Christ began at Helm Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Carrollton, MS at an early age.
He attended Marshall Elementary – High School, graduating in 1965. During his high school years, he and the team won the Big 12 Tournament. He ate and slept BASKETBALL. Education was instilled in him by his parents. He knew if he did not get his lesson, he could not play ball. At Marshall, he was coached by Robert Wilson, who was strict and loved his players.
He enrolled in Alcorn State University (A & M) in 1965. Willie was given a 4-year scholarship by Dr. Eugene Simmons. Dr. Simmons had not seen Willie play but had heard about him from diehard Alcornites. During his time at Alcorn, he was a dominant power forward. He scored 1,973 points and 1,413 rebounds which ranked him second all-time at Alcorn. In 1967, 1968 and 1969 he received All-SWAC honors. In 1969, he was drafted in the first round by the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA, second round by the Detroit Piston and was also selected by the San Diego Chargers as a tight end making him the only player in Acorn’s history to be drafted by three different teams in the same year. He also played for Caen basketball Calvados in France.
Willie was inducted in SWAC Hall of Fame, the A Club, Alcorn State University Hall of Fame and Marshall High School Hall of Honors. He was active in his Hartford Memorial Church in Detroit, MI. He was president of the Retired NBA Basketball Association, where they mentored young men. At the time of his illness, he was instrumental in securing funds and breaking ground for the Dave Bing Playground. He loved his family. His house was the meeting place whenever family visited Detroit.
He married his college sweetheart, Verna Price, and that union was blessed with two sons, Willie Jr., and Quincy. Welcoming Willie home will be his parents (Percy Sr., 2003; Charlie Pauline 2012), his nephew (Anthony 2015), a sister (Alfreeda Flowers 2017), a brother (Percy 2020), and a special cousin (Lorraine 2022). What a reunion at the RIVER when they all get together.
His journey on this earth was completed Monday, October 24, 2022. He is survived by family: Verna - the mother of his two sons: Willie (Tonya) Norwood, Jr., and Quincy Norwood; children: Karmyn (Martez) Edwards; Anthony Coty; a dear and loving friend, Alfiea Johnson; a brother, James (Rosie) Norwood of Itta Bena, MS; sisters, Laura Norwood Davis, Willie Mae Smith, and Ruth Flowers Carrollton, MS; an aunt, Emma Norwood Harrison of Chicago, IL and dear friend and fellow NBA player Dave Bing. He also leaves nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends