June 20, 2019Drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 1st round (1st pick) of the 2019 NBA Draft and signed a rookie deal shortly thereafter
Zion Lateef Williamson was born in 2000 in Salisbury, North Carolina. Zion's mother Sharonda ran track at Livingstone College, and his stepfather Lee Anderson played basketball at Clemson. Starting at the age of nine, Williamson woke up at 5am daily for basketball training. Williamson attended Spartanburg Day School, a small kindergarten through 12th grade private school in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He could already dunk before the start of his high school freshman season. As a junior, Williamson averaged 36.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game and led Spartanburg Day to their second straight SCISA Region I-2A title. MaxPreps named Zion National Junior of the Year and also gave him High School All-American First Team honors. Williamson posted similar numbers his senior season and led the Griffins to their third straight title. After the season, he was named South Carolina Mr. Basketball and was runner-up for Mr. Basketball USA. After one season at Duke, Williamson declared for the 2019 NBA Draft and was selected with the first overall pick by the Pelicans. Zion enjoys writing poetry, listening to Jay-Z and watching Naruto. Fans can follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@zionwilliamson).College/International Summary
Through a combination of jaw-dropping highlights and excellent production, Williamson owned the 2018-19 college basketball season. The 6-foot-7 forward joined R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish to give Duke the top recruiting class in the nation. Over the season, he averaged 22.6 points (on 68.0 percent shooting), 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks. He made his debut against Kentucky in the Champions Classic with 28 points and seven rebounds in the win. Williamson had 14 double-doubles, including a season-high 35 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Syracuse. He missed the last six games of the regular season after suffering a Grade 1 knee sprain against North Carolina in which his shoe ripped. He returned for the ACC Tournament and averaged 27.0 points and 10.0 rebounds to help the Blue Devils take the championship. Duke advanced to the Elite Eight of The Big Dance and Williamson scored at least 23 points in each NCAA Tournament game. Among his many accolades were AP Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, and the Naismith Award. After one season with Duke, Williamson declared for the 2019 NBA Draft and was selected with the first overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans.