Zion
Williamson
Position: PF
Height/Weight: 6-7 / 285 lbs
School/Club: Duke
Status: Freshman
Birthday: 07/06/2000
 

 

About Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson is one of the most unique athletes to come through the college ranks in recent history and had the freshman season to match, emerging as one of the nation’s most efficient scorers and electric two-way players.  Amassing a huge following early in his prep career with his peerless explosiveness, Williamson earned a spot in the McDonald’s All-American game and was named South Carolina’s Mr. Basketball as a senior.  Considered a consensus top-5 recruit in the high school class of 2018 coming out of Spartanburg Day School, Williamson nonetheless managed to outperform expectations under Mike Krzyzewski teaming with RJ Barrett to guide Duke to a 32-win season.  Stuffing the stat sheet averaging 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game, the Salisbury, North Carolina native steadily impacted games in a variety of ways to capture Consensus National College Player of the Year honors.

  • Possesses unprecedented explosiveness, an excellent first step, and rare closing speed for a player of any size, let alone one listed at 6’7 and 285 pounds.  May lack a degree of height in a conventional sense, but plays with his head at rim level as often as any player in recent memory, has a remarkably quick second jump, and is every bit as strong as his dimensions would suggest.
     
  • Proved to be far more than just an athlete in his sole collegiate season flashing impressive instincts on both ends of the floor, a knack for creating offense, good vision as a passer, and great versatility carving out a role as Duke’s most important player sliding between the power forward and center positions.  Ended the season ranked among the most efficient volume scorers in modern college basketball history despite possessing significant room to grow as a three-point and free throw shooter and missing several games late in the year with a leg injury.

Defensive Analysis

  • Combination of explosiveness, strength, and closing speed made him a difference maker defensively and gives him considerable upside and versatility projecting ahead.  Emerged as the anchor of one of the nation’s top units with his ability to get in the passing lanes, protect the rim, and defend multiple positions. 
     
  • Allowed 0.355 points per one-on-one possessionwith many teams opting not to test him throughout the season.   Had a clear, positive impact on the Blue Devils defense when he was on the court, regardless of what position he was playing.  Ability to close the gap on would-be finishers and open jump shooters is exceptional for a player his size.

Career Highlights

  • 2018-19 NCAA Player of the Year by Naismith, Wooden, NABC, USBWA, AP and The Sporting News.
  • Only the third Freshman to receive the AP honor in its 58-year history, joining Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Texas’ Kevin Durant.
  • Recipient of the Karl Malone Award, honoring the top power forward in college basketball.
  • Selected as the national Freshman of the Year by both the NABC and USBWA.
  • Consensus All-America First Team selection. 

Freshman (2018-19)

  • Finished 16th nationally and second in the ACC in scoring (22.6 ppg).
  • Ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage (68.0).
  • Ranked third in the ACC in rebounding (8.9 rpg), second in steals (2.12 spg) and fifth in blocks (1.79 bpg).
  • Helped Duke to an ACC Championship and an Elite Eight appearance, averaging 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds over seven postseason games.
  • ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP. 

Strengths

  • Freakish combination of power, explosiveness, dexterity, coordination and body control.
  • Has a terrific feel for the game.
  • Solid ball handler and passer.
  • Has superior defensive tools and instincts. 

Personal

  • Didn’t play high school football but was offered a scholarship by LSU.
  • Likes to write poetry, listen to Jay-Z and watch Naruto.
  • His mother, Sharonda Sampson, ran track at Livingstone College. 

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