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Should Duke Star Zion Williamson continue to play college or shut it down for NBA?

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Should Duke Star Zion Williamson continue to play college or shut it down for NBA?

Duke forward Zion Williamson holds his knee after injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Duke forward Zion Williamson holds his knee after injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Duke forward Zion Williamson holds his knee after injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Duke forward Zion Williamson holds his knee after injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Zachary Letson, Editor in Chief

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Duke’s Zion Williamson is the most raved about basketball player at the pre-NBA level since LeBron James. The forward was in the midst of an outstanding 2018-19 season for the Blue Devils as just an 18-year old when he scarily went down with an injury in Duke’s game on Feb. 20 against North Carolina. The superstar will inevitably enter the 2019 NBA Draft and is poised to be the #1 overall pick. With millions of dollars at Williamson’s doorstep, the question becomes: should Zion sit out the rest of this season, even if healthy, or should he prepare to come back and finish the season with Duke?

If Zion values the experience of playing at the college level with the biggest brand name in the sport of college basketball, Duke, then he should absolutely return when healthy. The college basketball season is reaching its apex with the NCAA Tournament on the horizon. Duke is one of the nation’s top teams and has been ranked #1 for most of the season. Williamson can have the best of both worlds: help lead Duke to a national championship, and become the next NBA superstar.

The injury diagnosis was a sprained knee and Williamson was given a “day-to-day” recovery. I am not endorsing that Williamson should play injured, but I would disagree with him sitting as a healthy scratch to prevent the risk of an injury. Anyone can get injured from simply working out, or during practice. It’s an unnecessary precaution for him to sit out games if completely healthy. Williamson will likely never play with any of his teammates again, and made the commitment to play basketball at Duke at the season’s start.

Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) slams a dunk over the St. John’s defense in the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Duke won, 91-61. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Even if Zion suffers another injury, he has built a strong resume for the NBA of 21.6 points per game to go with 8.8 rebounds and will likely still be the top pick in the draft. Those numbers don’t even cover Zion’s most impressive trait; his dominant presence on the floor. The college freshman is 6-7, 285 pounds but moves like a guard. It’s something that the NBA has never quite seen before.

Williamson has a chance to leave a legacy at Duke before leaving for the NBA and should absolutely capitalize on that.

 

About the Writer
Zachary Letson, Editor in Chief

As a member of the staff for three years, my passion for a journalism career has blossomed over time. With the help of my advisor and peers, I've become...

1 Comment

One Response to “Should Duke Star Zion Williamson continue to play college or shut it down for NBA?”

  1. Ethel McGirt on March 5th, 2019 4:32 am

    I certainly hope that Zion does not listen to editors in chief who have no knowledge of sports beyond an onlooker/fan. It is a fact that NBA scouts are accessing how the current injury may impact Zion’s career as a professional basketball player and whether they should fully invest in HIM with such an injury. Is it a precursor of injuries to come; should he reinjure the same or the other knee, will others scrutinize his judgment, parents guidance, Coach K’s personal aspiration to win, win, win, at all cost, because such would reduce what he might earn as a pro. AS IS, Zion is still an ideal draft choice but there are too many unknowns and variables so he should weigh-in on the side of caution. Coach K is less important then what his parents think, their investment has been 18 years compared to Zion and Coach K’s single year relationship. Duke University, the ACC and NCAA tournaments will not pay Zion the amount of money he can earn in the NBA should he or a jealous opponent reinjure. He would not get paid or any endorsements, his efforts at this level are all volunteer where others profit. It would be irresponsible for him to come back and for what, a memory that would not be possible if it were not for a rule that inhibited his entry to the NBA. Duke is one of the wealthiest schools in the world and they would not purchase substantial shoes for their star oversized player they claim to care about so how can the school and its high profile coach now do what is best for the big guy? I don’t think so! How many doctors claimed that a young buck could play knowing that assessment was false and why did they do so, MONEY and they disrespected their lives! Why do media personnel promote playing injured? MONEY & RATINGS and media have communicated that athletes should just dribble and play regardless. Zion should not play anymore this year for such jeopardizes his money-making potential in basketball and endorsements for he has already proven that he is NBA, first round ready. Duke will always have money but for Zion, the verdict is still out! This is a chance he should not take for in this life, no one is going to love you more than you love yourself, a lesson he and others better learn. Pray a lot and listen to your creator and this is my opinion piece.
    EAM/

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