Written By: Carmelo Gullotta
From the small city of Salisbury, North Carolina, originated today’s projected first overall 2019 NBA draft pick, Zion Williamson. The Duke player made a tremendous name for himself in the 2019 March Madness.
Playing small forward and power forward, the 6 ft. 7 in. freshman averaged 28.5 points and 8.9 rebounds. On top of that, he won ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Player of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year and was put into the ACC Tournament MVP honors.
Beginning at 5 years old Williamson got up at 5 a.m. to train. He began in youth leagues with his mother coaching him, Sharonda Sampson. Williamson played for the Ametur Athletic Union (AAU), where he would match up with players 4 years older than him. Later on, his stepfather, Lee Anderson, began to train him as a point guard.
The Duke star played for Johnakin Middle School in South Carolina, and he was coached by his mother. There he averaged over 30 points per game. He then started his high school career at Spartanburg Day School and was going in at 6 ft 3 in.
Williamson averaged over 25 points all four years. He was praised by the likes of Stephen Curry, LaMelo Ball, the All-USA first team, the Adidas Nations Camps, and many more superior groups and players. After his senior year, he played in the 2018 McDonald's All-American Game where he scored 8 points in 17 minutes before being forced to exit with a thumb injury.
As a freshman in high school, Wofford gave him his first scholarship offer. The next year, just as a sophomore, he had over 16 NCAA Division 1 programs fighting for his commitment. Senior year he made the final decision to attend Duke.
August 15th, 2018 was his preseason debut as a Blue Devil, scoring 29 points and 13 rebounds. November 6th he made his regular season debut with 28 points in 23 minutes against Kentucky.
Early into March Madness he suffered from a knee sprain, 36 seconds into his game versus North Carolina. His foot ripped through his Nike shoe causing him to slip. The following day, Nike’s market value dropped 1.1 billion.
Without playing the rest of college ball he was projected to be the top draft pick for the NBA and won Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors in the ACC.
Williamson became a renowned basketball star before his college career, and enthralled the attention of the NBA in his March Madness play. The Blue Devil is likely to save the New York Knicks in the 2019 season.