For college basketball fans everywhere, March Madness couldn’t get here fast enough. The NCAA tournament is where brackets get serious and stars are created. But this year’s Big Dance is about to get even better, because Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited debut. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound freshman from Duke University is predicted to be the No. 1 NBA draft pick in June. This 18-year-old has dominated the court, even in the wake of a rare and unexpected setback.
His playing career was brought to a sudden halt during the February 20th Duke vs. North Carolina game. Only 36 seconds in, his left Nike PG 2.5 shoe broke apart mid-play, making him land into a painful semi-split on the court. He limped away with a knee injury that caused him to miss five games. Despite public opinion telling him to sit out and wait for the NBA draft, Williamson wanted to hit the court again once the injury healed. His dedication to the sport and Duke’s Blue Devils shined during their recent ACC Championship win against Florida State, beating the team 73-63. Williamson’s performance helped him earn the ACC Most Valuable Player title and Duke University a No. 1 ranking in the NCAA Tournament as well.
March Madness is heating up, and the fans are excited to see Williamson deliver some tough competition. Regardless of which team wins the tournament, this young star has already secured his bag, college accolades, and future spot in the NBA. Let the games begin!
By Marilyn Koonce, Northern Illinois University Alumna