Former NBA star Williams freed from jail

Former NBA star Jayson Williams was released from New York City's Rikers Island prison on Friday after serving eight months on a drunken driving charge, officials said.

Williams, 44, once an all-star center for the New Jersey Nets, had served the sentence after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated when he slammed his car into a tree in Manhattan in January 2010. He had been given a one-year sentence for the misdemeanor offense.

His release was confirmed by Sharman Stein, deputy commissioner for public information at NYC Department of Correction.

Williams previously served 18 months of a five-year sentence for the 2002 accidental shooting death of limousine driver Costas Christofi with a 12-gauge shotgun at Williams' New Jersey mansion. Williams had been showing the gun to friends without having secured its safety. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in 2010.

The former standout at St. John's University played for nine years in the NBA, two with the Philadelphia 76ers and seven with the Nets, according to the NBA's website. He was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the first round, 21st pick overall, of the 1990 draft and his draft rights were traded to the 76ers.

(Reporting By Dan Burns; editing by Mohammad Zargham)