To be a basketball star, you need to have an advanced skill set and probably a tremendous athleticism and body size. Zion Williamson, a special player, is undoubtedly one of the country’s best basketball players.
Standing a six-foot-seven 285 pound forward, he is one of the biggest showcases of basketball talent in the country.
Zion Latif Williamson was born on July 6th, 2000, in Salisbury, a small city with a population of less than 35,000 located in North Carolina. Latif Williamson played high school football as a 6 foot 5 270 pound defensive lineman while earning the all-American honors at Mayo High School in Darlington, South Carolina, in 1993.
As the child of two college athletes, Zion grew up in a sporting environment. However, before starting basketball, Williamson played soccer and football as a quarterback. When he was five years old, he set his sights on basketball, a sport which he immediately fell in love with.
By the time he turned seven years old, he had started working towards that goal of becoming a basketball star. By waking up every morning to train and develop his skills before school started, and every afternoon after his homework was done, he would train at a local park.
While his friends were sleeping or playing video games, Zion was busy perfecting his skills. Eventually, he began competing in youth leagues with his mother coaching his team.
It made sense seeing as Zions mother had always believed her son was a talented basketball player especially because he stood out amongst his peers when it came to the sport not to mention that whenever he would have a basketball game, there would be older adults who would attend them and claim that he was a special kid who would one day be on TV and do them proud.
But despite his mother’s confidence and her son’s ability, Zion was far from becoming the star.
Williamson wasn’t precisely the tallest player. In fact, when he was in the eighth grade, he stood at just 5 foot 9 inches and weighed 120 pounds. While this is not too short for the average thirteen-year-old, the truth was that it was far from the average NBA height.
Due to his lack of size, his stepfather, Lee Anderson, began teaching him the fundamentals associated with playing the point guard position. The former college basketball player would help to improve his skills as the two trained day and night.
With his hard work and dedication, Williamson’s skills would slowly begin to develop to the extent that his handles vision and overall skills were unlike any other.
Unlike other athletes who would attend prep schools, Williamson decided to attend a school in his state of South Carolina; that school was none other than Spartanburg day.
It was also around this time that Spartanburg day coach Lee Saunter first saw Williamson on the basketball court. At the time, there was nothing physically remarkable about him.
He was about the same size as the other kids on his team, and although Zion was indeed a good player, it wasn’t his shooting or ball-handling that impressed Saunter but rather his basketball I.Q and humble nature.
It was true that he was the point guard for that team and the smartest player on the floor; however, when the tournament was over, and he was awarded the MVP trophy Zion gave it to another kid on his team who hadn’t done anything all weekend.
When asked why he did it, he claimed that the kid made his first basket, and that’s why he deserved it. After seeing this, the Spartanburg day coach knew Zion was not only a great player but a real one at that.
Regardless, in 2014 as a high school freshman Zion began playing for the Spartanburg Griffins while it was true that he was slowly developing into an outstanding player; the truth was that very few people outside of South Carolina knew about him. That was until the summer of 2016.
With an increase in his height and weight, Zion’s athleticism somehow managed to develop as he found himself being able to do new things including the ability to perform ridiculous dunks as a faster and stronger player. Soon Zion began flying past defenders of all shapes and sizes.
Overall, these newfound abilities helped him to become a versatile player. By the time he turned 15 years old, Zion was dominating on the court averaging twenty-four point four, for rebounds, 122, three steals, three blocks, and two-point eight assists per game.
That same season he went on to earn Allstate in all-region honors while leading Spartanburg to a state championship. By 10th grade, Zion continues to grow as the sophomore stood at a shocking six foot six inches.
His outstanding skills helped push him into the national spotlight as he became a five-star recruit and was ranked the number 2 player in the 2018 class.
Zion also single-handedly leads his team to three straight state championships. As his newfound skills beginning to develop, people started hearing whispers about the high school student coming out of Spartanburg in his final two years in high school.
While setting the school single-game freshman scoring record, today, the man-child from Spartanburg high continues to dominate on the hardwood floors. Over about two years, Zion has managed to pick up more height and a bit over 100 pounds as of the writing of this article.
Duke University has him listed as a 6-foot seven 285 pound forward. To put that into perspective, NBA Center Boban Marjanovic stands at 7 foot 3 inches and is just 5 pounds heavier at 290 pounds; not only is he the heaviest, but he is also the tallest guy in the NBA.
His physical attributes have drawn comparisons to former NBA stars such as Charles Barkley and Larry Johnson. Besides, according to several different analysts, his gameplay and body build resembles current NBA players such as Julius Randle and even LeBron James.
Williamson has the potential to turn into an incredible basketball macho.
The problem at the NBA level; he is very coordinated for his size and shows the potential to be a lead scorer. Thanks to his ability to create off the balance, he has the burst of a guard off the dribble and a handle that’s advanced enough.
While it is true that Zion Williamson is indeed an outstanding player,, the truth is that the culture of high school basketball can make athletic players seem more impressive than they are.
Many players each year struggle at higher levels despite having the gifts to dominate the high school scene. Although he was picked as the No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, the big worry about Zion for many Scouts is the role he continue to play during his stay in the NBA.
Many argued that he is both undersized and oversized for the NBA floor, then, of course, there is the fact that there are still a few areas of his gameplay that require growth. Zion’s athleticism has shown to translate against better competition the skills he’ll need to succeed even in college are going to need to be improved.
Although he can shoot over his defenses from long-range, he doesn’t have a reliable jump shot. There’s also the fact that he requires some work on his ball-handling and finishing with his right hand.
Williamson also needs improvement in his passing ability, he shown the capability to be a decent ball mover, but when it comes to picking roles that piece is lacking.
Right now, if he’s planning to become a future NBA star, he needs to address these flaws. So far, he hasn’t proven that he can do this.
In the end, Zion Williamson is an absurd athlete, and he has high star potential at this point, he is going to have to provide significant improvements in areas of his game that will differentiate between whether he goes on to become just a good NBA player or a future star.
Right now Zion might seem like an awkward fit in the modern game. Still, his talent is so evident and unique we know he wasted no time making a statement with only few games and hastily reminding the basketball world of why he was the unquestioned top selection in the 2019 class.
While many believe that he is going to be an extremely polarizing NBA prospect, it’s going to be interesting to see just how he performs with the New Orleans Pelicans and beyond. Only time will tell.