Zion Lateef Williamson is a professional basketball player. He plays the power forward position in the National Basketball Association but is also capable of being a small-ball center.
Williamson is 6’6″ and his listed weight is 285 pounds. While his weight is considered heavy for a basketball player, he is known for his speed and leaping ability.
Aside from basketball, Williamson also played soccer and football before joining the NBA. Here are 13 more facts about him:
- He was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, United States in 2000 to Lateef Williamson and Sharonda Sampson. Lateef played football in high school and college while Sampson was a sprinter before becoming a middle school health and physical education teacher. She named him after the biblical location Mount Zion near Jerusalem.
- His parents divorced in 2005. His mother married former college basketball player Lee Anderson, who helped him improved his skills as a point guard.
- His mother was his coach when he played for the Sumter Falcons on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit before middle school.
- He attended Johnakin Middle School in Marion, South Carolina, USA. He joined the school’s basketball team with his mother as his coach.
- He attended Spartanburg Day School in Spartanburg, South Carolina and played basketball for the Griffins.
- He was the leading score when he participated in the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 camp in June 2016.
- On August 30, 2016, he received a college basketball scholarship offer from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
- He participated in the 2017 Adidas Nations camp from August 4-7, 2017. He was named the Most Valuable Player.
- On February 20, 2019, he slipped after his foot ripped through his Nike shoe and suffered a Grade 1 knee sprain. On February 21, 2019, the band’s stock value dropped by $1.1 billion.
- As a Duke Blue Devils player, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Athlete of the Year for the 2018-2019 academic year.
- On June 20, 2019, the New Orleans Pelicans drafted him with the first pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He officially signed with the NBA team on July 1, 2019. He made his professional basketball debut on January 22, 2020.
- On July 23, 2019, he signed a five-year shoe deal with the Jordan brand worth $75 million, the second largest rookie shoe deal in history next to the $90 million rookie deal LeBron James signed in 2003.
- On March 13, 2020, he pledged to pay for the salaries of all the employees of the multi-purpose indoor arena Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA for 30 days during the suspension of the 2019-2020 NBA season caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.