In a decision shocking to no watcher of college basketball, Duke freshman Zion Williamson will enter the NBA Draft. The power forward captivated the league all year with demoralizing dunks and blocks for the ages. Williamson is the 27th freshman to submit his name to the process.
“The Best Year of My Life”
That is what Williamson called his one year in Durham playing in a Blue Devils uniform.
“Thank you for making this season a dream for me”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 15, 2019
The freshman posted a minute-long video to Twitter full of some of his most exciting moments on the court. Williamson was only the fifth-ranked player out of high school and the third highest Duke signee in 2018. However, he quickly rose the ranks to become the widely-regarded #1 pick in the draft.
Although his 6’7″ 285-pound frame is all his own, Williamson does not take all the credit for his success.
An All-Time College Career
In the NCAA Tournament, he averaged 27 points in Duke’s Elite 8 run. Following the season, Williamson racked up awards like they were baskets. He was the first freshman to garner both the ACC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Rookie of the Year, and Player of the Year. Williamson also took home the Naismith and AP Player of the Year honors, earning 59 out of a possible 64 points for the latter.
Williamson also joins elite company in Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis as the only freshmen to collect 500 points, 50 steals, and 50 blocks in a season.
Duke’s 2018 signing class was one of the closest and highest-rated in history. Williamson is the program’s 14th highest-rated player of all time, with teammates Cam Reddish (9) and RJ Barrett (1) in front of him. Fellow five-star signee Tre Jones ranked 24th all-time, as well.
If you ever watched a Duke game, the camaraderie on the team looked to be unmatched. Each of the four guys beamed about the other individually and as a group. Williamson, in some of his final moments as a college basketball player, expressed his sadness for the fact that he will probably never play alongside these guys again.
But now, his NBA future awaits.