ZION WILLIAMSON 2018 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCOUTING REPORT
#3 RANKED PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY (CLASS OF 2018)
STAR RANKING: 5 STARS
WEIGHT: 270 POUNDS
POSITION: POWER FORWARD/SMALL FORWARD
HIGH SCHOOL: SPARTANBURG DAY SCHOOL IN SOUTH CAROLINA
CHOSE DUKE OVER: CLEMSON, KENTUCKY, KANSAS, UCLA, AMONG DOZENS OF OTHER OFFERS
In today’s college basketball world, there’s an increasingly ridiculous amount of hoopla around where the top high school basketball players in the country will attend college, even though everyone knows full well that those guys will only be in college on year, and then make their way to the NBA.
The recruiting hysteria for forward Zion Williamson out of Spartanburg, South Carolina, who was among the last players in the nation to commit to a school, was just as ridiculous as you’d expect. His announcement was made on national television, carried on ESPN2. His announcement was probably more anticipated than the University of Kentucky vs. University of Florida game that it preceded.
He was the biggest news topic in both North and South Carolina, especially after he shocked nearly everyone in both states by spurning Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, and choosing to attend Duke University. Willamson will be joining fellow All-Americans in R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish at Duke.
Outside of the pure level of basketball talent possessed, Williamson is very different than so many other top recruits in years past, because we may honestly have never seen a basketball player as unique as him.
If Williamson walks into a gym, you would think you’re looking at the next great defensive end in the NFL. How else would describe someone who stands 6’6″, weighs just over 270lbs, and moves as powerfully yet gracefully as a prized stallion?
We’ve never seen a guy coming down the court with the momentum of a runaway beer truck, and then attack the rim like he was shot out of a cannon. Heaven help if there are other players in the paint, because he is built to essentially go right through them. It’s mind-boggling to think that the high school player with one of the best vertical leaps in the nation weighs more than 50% of professional football players.
The question isn’t so much about “who is Zion Williamson?” as it is about “what is Zion Williamson?” We’ve never seen a guy with this size, mass, and power, combined with his touch, play-making ability, and overall body control. He can pull down a rebound, run the floor, go coast-to-coast, or make a pass in transition.
But at 6’6″, he’s shorter than DeMar DeRozan, yet weighs over 50lbs more than DeRozan. Heck, he’s an inch shorter and 40lbs heavier than Draymond Green, to whom is game might compare more favorably.
And the other major question around him is the fact that he’s a very suspect shooter at the moment, with a wonky shooting style and an apprehension to take shots from more than 15 feet out. If a team decides that he’s better suited to stay in the paint, he’s going to have to improve his suspect free-throw shooting as well.
When he inevitably declares for the NBA, he’s going to be one of the most hotly debated players we’ve had in years, from purely a basketball standpoint. Do you buy into the raw tools, athleticism, and sneaky level of basketball polish? Or do you knock him because he doesn’t fit into any type of basketball mold that we’re accustomed to seeing?
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BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF ZION WILLIAMSON
Which current of former NBA player does Zion Williamson remind you of the most?
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