Published: Thu, April 18, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Duke's Zion Williamson Declares Himself for NBA Draft

Duke's Zion Williamson Declares Himself for NBA Draft

Zion Williamson is leaving Duke after one high-flying season to enter the National Basketball Association draft.

Williamson's soon-to-be former teammates, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish had previously declared, though neither is expected to topple Zion - who has already earned first-name status as only a few select star athletes have - as the first to hear Adam Silver call his name on June 20.

In his one spectacular season at Duke, Williamson averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 68.0% from the field and 33.8% from 3-point range.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward captivated the college basketball world with his highlight-reel dunks and his natural skill at both ends of the court.

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But Williamson has finally made his decision public, with a post on Instagram where he paid tribute to his time at Duke as well as the help his mother has provided him over the years. The Phoenix Suns share the same best-possible odds at the No. 1 pick of 14 percent with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Williamson was long thought to be leaving Duke after his freshman season, and once the Blue Devils were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament that speculation grew. Nike's stock price took a hit the next day and the shoe company sent a team of representatives to campus to investigate. When Williamson returned roughly three weeks later for the ACC tournament, he wore a pair of modified size-15 Nikes from Irving's signature line.

Williamson will nearly certainly be selected with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Duke's point guard, Tre Jones, recently announced that he would be returning to Durham for his sophomore season.

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