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Ex-Arizona Wildcat Marcus Williams fails drug test in Chinese professional league

Marcus Williams battles for possession in his final game at Arizona in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Former Arizona Wildcat forward Marcus Williams had a good thing going playing basketball in China.

And then he messed that up.

Williams, who was averaging 30.9 points through 13 games for Shanxi in the Chinese Basketball Association, is done for the rest of the season after testing positive for marijuana.

In punishment much more harsh than in the NBA, Williams is banned for six months for the first positive test. The season concludes Feb. 27. He has been one of the league’s best players, posting averages of 32.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season.

“To all the CBA fans, Shanxi fans, sponsors, as well as my coaches and players I sincerely apologize,” Williams wrote on a Chinese social media website.

“I have let a lot of people down and I regret it more then anything. I understand everyone’s disappointment and i will do everything to improve and grow from this.”

Williams, 26, has been playing in China since December 2010 after a couple of cups of coffee in the NBA. He played a total of 13 games between San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers across the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

He was a D-League All-Star in February 2009.

Williams was a second-round pick (No. 33 overall) in the 2007 draft after he left Arizona following his sophomore season.

He impressed as a freshman, averaging 13.0 points for the 2005-06 Arizona team that was ousted in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by No. 1-seeded Villanova. He posted bigger numbers as a sophomore (16.6 points, 6.7 rebounds), but the Cats mostly scuffled through the season and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Purdue — coach Lute Olson’s last game.

Williams became known as an unpopular teammate and no one around the program shed a tear when he left early.

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