Zion Williamson commits to Duke
By Alex Maminakis
SPARTANBURG — Zion Williamson reached into his backpack and pulled out a hat.
In front of a full gym at Spartanburg Day School on Saturday night, and being broadcast live for the world to see, Williamson finally cemented his decision of where he would play college basketball.
“I will be joining the brotherhood of Duke University,” Williamson said as he proudly put on his blue hat, to the roar of the crowd.
Williamson, the 6-6 power forward and one of the most coveted high school basketball prospects in the 2018 class, and in recent history, chose the Blue Devils over Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina and Kentucky, among the many other offers that he held.
His recruitment remained a question mark until Saturday night’s announcement, and Williamson himself said his decision came down to the wire.
“I made my decision (Friday) night, and I was still kind of like not sure about it,” he said. “But when I woke up this morning, I knew that Duke was the school.”
Williamson’s stepfather Lee Anderson added some insight into how close Williamson’s decision actually was.
“As a matter of fact, Zion actually told me (Friday) night he was going to flip a coin. He told me he was going to flip a coin. He was going to flip a coin and he was going to go through four schools, I think,” Anderson said. “That’s how close it was.”
Williamson is the No. 2 player in the country according to ESPN, and Duke has now secured commitments from the top three players in the country, along with forwards R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was also a big reason Williamson chose to play for the Blue Devils.
“Coach K is just the most legendary coach to coach college basketball, and I feel like going to Duke University I can learn a lot from him in my time there,” Williamson said.
“When I went on my official visit, I already felt like I was a part of the family. They just gave a very positive, family type of vibe.”
With a lot of thought that Williamson might stay in the state of South Carolina to continue his basketball career — whether with the Tigers or Gamecocks — he chose to go north and play for one of the most storied programs in college basketball history.
But he added that his state will always mean the most to him.
“I’d like to thank South Carolina and Clemson for even taking the time to recruit me,” Williamson said. “But my mom said it best — I have to follow my heart…I still have a lot of love for my state. I love my state to death. I’ll always represent.”
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