Zion Williamson was one of college basketball’s biggest stars during his short stint at Duke. He led the Blue Devils to an ACC tournament title and a trip to the Elite 8 during the NCAA tournament, all the while piling up highlights of dunks, blocks and other incredible plays along the way.
Williamson now heads to the NBA Draft where he is expected to be the No. 1 player off the board.
Let’s look at Williamson’s background and some of the highlights that have him slated as the top pick.
Zion Williamson: Biography, stats
|Point per game||22.1|
|Rebounds per game||8.9|
|Assists per game||2.1|
|Blocks per game||1.8|
|Steals per game||2.2|
Zion Williamson NBA Draft prospect
The New Orleans Pelicans have the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and, after trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, are heavy favorites to draft the top NBA prospect.
Should the Pelicans go another route, the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks hold the second and third picks.
Where is Zion Williamson from?
Williamson is from Spartanburg, S.C., where he played high school basketball for Spartanburg Day School. He was the No. 2 overall recruit by ESPN for the 2018 recruiting class.
He led Spartanburg Day School to three straight South Carolina Class AA state titles, averaging 36.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. In the 2018 South Carolina state title game, Williamson totaled 37 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks. A year earlier, he scored 51 points in the final.
Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Williamson, ran track at Livingston College. His stepfather, Lee Anderson, played basketball at Clemson.
Zion Williamson highlights
In Williamson’s first ACC game, he and the Blue Devils took down Clemson, 87-68. The freshman from Spartanburg, South Carolina — which is just a short drive from Clemson’s campus — racked up 25 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Williamson pulled off one of the most jaw-dropping plays of the year in this game, dunking after spinning 360 degrees in mid-air.
He told the Associated Press after the game: “I said, `You know what? I’m wide open. Why not?’ I did it, got high enough and it was almost like a layup.”
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) January 6, 2019
Zion Williamson highlights
Not even a pack of Virginia defenders could stop Williamson from throwing down this one-handed slam.
Williamson scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds in this 72-70 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 19, 2019
This windmill dunk against San Diego State was fun, too.
🚨 ZION WINDMILL 🚨pic.twitter.com/4qPVT9i8o1
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 20, 2018
Zion Williamson’s injury
On Feb. 20, in the first minute of a highly anticipated game between Duke and rival North Carolina, Williamson’s left foot bursted through the bottom of his sneaker and he collapsed to the floor.
Williamson clutched his right knee, but walked off the floor. He did not return to the game, and despite Duke listing him as day-to-day, he missed the Blue Devils’ next five games.
Zion’s shoe: destroyed 😳 pic.twitter.com/LqQ2te0Jay
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 21, 2019
His return from injury
Williamson came back to floor for Duke in the ACC tournament. In the quarterfinal against Syracuse, his first game in nearly a month, he had 29 points, 14 rebounds and five steals in a 12-point win for Duke in Charlotte.
Williamson scored 31 points in Duke’s ACC semifinal win over North Carolina, and tallied 21 points, five rebounds and two blocks in the Blue Devils’ title game win over Florida State.
ZION. BACK! 💪pic.twitter.com/SRNtqjYfjL
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 15, 2019
Zion Williamson’s high school career
At Spartanburg Day School, Williamson was a McDonald’s All-American, a five-star recruit and a three-time state champion. Over his high school career, he averaged 36.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
On June 6, 2017, he was on the cover of Slam Magazine. Williamson was heavily recruited by several top college basketball programs — including Clemson, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas — but chose coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke.
Zion in the 2019 NCAA tournament
Duke advanced to the Elite 8 with victories over North Dakota State, University of Central Florida and Virginia Tech. That win over UCF and 7-6 Tacko Fall came in the final seconds in what was one of the best games in the 2019 tournament. Zion and the Blue Devils won, 77-76, when UCF could not score in its final possession. Zion finished with 32 points. Fall battled and had 15 points, 6 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out.
Zion followed up that UCF game with a 22-point performance against Virginia Tech where he showed why he would be a top prospect for NBA teams. In the Elite 8 against Michigan State, he had a game-high 24 points as the Spartans knocked off the overall No. 1 seed.
In Duke’s first NCAA tournament game, Zion posted 25 points on 12-for-16 shooting while adding three boards, one block and one steal in an 85-62 win against North Dakota State.