For many people, Zion Williamson came into view after an image of him falling and breaking through his basketball sneakers went viral during a game with Duke in 2018. Back then, he was a strong prospect for the forthcoming NBA draft and thanks to his explosive techniques and larger-than-life dunk shots, he has remained that way since. But in a new interview, the now 19-year-old credits his success to none other than Drake.
Speaking with sportscaster Ernie Johnson, Williamson believes he wasn’t at all known by the wider basketball community until Drake posted an image of himself on Instagram wearing his number 12 Spartanburg Day School jersey in January of 2017.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 28, 2020
“I think he posted it like late at night,” Zion said of Drake wearing his number 12 Spartanburg Day School jersey in January of 2017. “I woke up that morning, I woke up to just crazy notifications on my phone. For a second, I was like, ‘Did something happen? Something bad happen?’ But no, I went to Instagram, my text messages, everybody was saying, ‘Go look at what Drake posted. Go look at what Drake posted.’ I found it, and I was just like, ‘Man, this is crazy.’ Because whether people know it or not, Drake posted that pic of me, or wearing my jersey, before most of the world knew me.”
In the 2019 NBA draft, Williamson was selected to play with the New Orleans Pelicans and since signed to Jordan Brand. In mid-March, the star player also pledged to cover the salaries of workers from Smoothie King Center for the next 30 days, amid the coronavirus crisis.
Stay tuned for the continued rise of the young player. We’re looking forward to it.