Wil­liamson goes No. 1 to Pel­i­cans

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Bar­bara Barker

NEW YORK — It’s official. Zion Wil­liamson, the most hyped NBA prospect since Le­Bron James was drafted 16 years ago, be­came a New Or­leans Pel­i­can Thurs­day night at the Bar­clays Cen­ter when the team took him with the No. 1 over­all pick in the NBA draft.

The se­lec­tion, which ba­si­cally has been a fait ac­com­pli since the Pel­i­cans won the draft lot­tery a month ago, com­pletes a crazy, emo­tional year un­der an in­tense spot­light for the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Duke fresh­man.

The fact the se­lec­tion was no sur­prise doesn’t mean Wil­liamson took it in stride. Far from it. When NBA Com­mis­sioner Adam Sil­ver called his name, Wil­liamson stood and hugged his mother for a good five sec­onds. Both were wear­ing sim­i­lar white suits and broad smiles.

He then came close to break­ing down in an interview with ESPN, de­scrib­ing how his mother, Sharonda Sampson, had sup­ported his dreams of play­ing bas­ket­ball when he was young. Sampson, a former track star, coached her son un­til he was 14 years old.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.