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SportNBA Draft 2019: Zion Williamson not considering Duke return, stepfather says

18:30  16 may  2019
18:30  16 may  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Zion Lateef Williamson (born July 6, 2000) is an American college basketball player for the Duke Blue Devils of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

NBA Draft 2019: Zion Williamson not considering Duke return, stepfather says © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Critique Zion Williamson’s body language all you want, but according to those closest to him, the Duke phenom is excited about becoming a member of the Pelicans if New Orleans selects him with the first pick in the NBA Draft on June 20.

Williamson, the high-flying prospect from Duke, is a virtual lock to be the first player off the board in a matter of weeks when New Orleans is on the clock atop the draft. According to his stepfather, Lee Anderson, Williamson is thrilled at the possibility.

“One thing that Zion has always been taught is to accept the things you can’t change and this is one of the things he had nothing to do with. It’s the process of the NBA, and certainly we’re excited about the Crescent City down there in New Orleans,” Anderson told the “Off the Bench” radio show on ESPN 104.5 in Baton Rouge. "I spoke with coach [Alvin] Gentry the other night and we met with Mr. David Griffin. We had a great conversation and we’re excited about the prospect of coming down there, getting settled, looking for a place to stay and all those good things."

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1 - Zion Williamson . Duke . Birthday: 7/6/00. NBA Position: Power Forward. Born on July 6, 2000, in Salisbury, S.C. His mother is Sharonda Williamson and stepfather is Lee Anderson Zion Williamson leaves game with knee injury in first minute of game vs. Tar Heels Wed, 02/20/ 2019 - 6

Specializing in drafts with top players on the NBA horizon, player profiles, scouting reports, rankings and prospective international recruits. If you find any inaccuracies or unlisted outstanding trades, please contact NBADraft .net (be specific, and provide a link if possible) and we'll correct them.

Then, to the delight of Pelicans fans everywhere, Anderson put to rest any rumors that Williamson would shun the franchise and play a second season at Duke.

“And about returning to Duke, there has been a lot of speculation but that is nothing we have even considered,” Anderson said.

Williamson also appeared to acknowledge there was no way he’d think about playing in college again during an interview with Slam Magazine late last month.

Would Zion Williamson really return to Duke if he doesn't like the Pelicans?

Would Zion Williamson really return to Duke if he doesn't like the Pelicans? There’s almost no way Zion Williamson returns to Duke. Yet, in theory, it’s still a possibility. Williamson became the story of college basketball as a freshman for the Blue Devils in 2018-19. He was almost unstoppable around the rim and also displayed an ability to create plays for himself as well as others. The Pelicans entered the lottery Tuesday with a 6% chance at the No. 1 pick but surprisingly jumped all the way up to win the top selection. They’re now almost universally expected to take the former Duke star. “It’s definitely a possibility,” Williamson told ESPN about being drafted by the Pelicans.

See the best remaining players on the draft board during the 2019 NBA Draft with Draftcast on ESPN. Jalen: Not taking Zion No. 1 will get you fired.

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“You get this college experience once,” Williamson said. “If you’re in a situation like mine, where you’re one and done, I’m just trying to make the most of what I got. I love Duke, and honestly, I don’t want to leave. If I didn’t have as much at stake, I probably would stay for another year. But I can’t.

“This was the best year of my life. So, if I could come back for a second year I would, but unfortunately that’s just not the reality we live in. The reality we live in is (that) my ultimate dream is the NBA. It’s what I’ve been dreaming about as a kid so I have to pursue that. And I have to take care of my family.”

Williamson has until May 29 to withdraw his name from the draft pool. But, if he did that, he’d forgo millions of guaranteed dollars — for at least one year — as the No. 1 pick in the draft typically receives a contract worth a little more than $8 million in his first NBA season, according to Forbes.

NBA Draft 2019: Zion Williamson signs with CAA Sports.
Other CAA clients include Joel Embiid, Paul George, Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell and Chris Paul, among others. We are proud to welcome Zion (@zionw32) Williamson to the CAA Sports Family! pic.twitter.com/GtWnJN47g7— CAA Basketball (@CAA_Basketball) May 30, 2019 Williamson is a virtual lock to be the first player off the board when the Pelicans are on the clock atop the draft. According to his stepfather, Lee Anderson, Williamson is thrilled about the prospect of playing in New Orleans.

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