- Zion Williamson’s wild dunking ability has made him the most-watched athlete in college basketball.
- In an interview with GQ, Williamson revealed that the focus that was put on his dunks used to frustrate him, as an all-around brilliant performance would be reduced to a simple highlight.
- Williamson said that conversations with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski helped him to move past his frustrations.
Zion Williamson has been the most dominant player in college basketball this season.
Between his monstrous dunks and powerful defence, Williamson has captivated casual fans and college basketball die-hards alike, and along with teammates RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish, has the Duke Blue Devils poised for another deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
But while Williamson’s dunks have made him a national sensation, in an interview with GQ’s Devin Gordon, the Duke phenom explained that his highlight reel was both a blessing and a curse, and being known as merely a dunker used to bother him.
“I could probably score 40 points, get 10 rebounds, 10 assists, but I can have one dunk that was incredible and those other 38 points don’t matter no more,” Williamson told Gordon. “It’s like, ‘Oh my god. He needs to be in a dunk contest! Did you see what he just did? That was incredible!’ And at first it did kind of bother me – I’m not gonna lie. For a while, I wouldn’t wanna dunk in the lay-up lines.”
Williamson went on to say that it was conversations with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski helped him to move past his frustrations and have faith that his game was more well-rounded than what was just shown in his highlight clips.
“I wouldn’t be at Duke if all I could do was dunk. Duke recruits the best basketball players. They don’t recruit dunkers or highlight makers. They recruit good basketball players. So I thought about that, I felt more comfortable about myself, and the people who know basketball, they know that I bring to the table more than just dunking. So people wanna classify me as a dunker, they can. If my opponent wants to think of me as a dunker, it’s just gonna shock them more when I show them another part of my game.”
Zion hasn’t been shy about showing off other parts of his game when necessary. He’s developed a workable 3-point shot that forces defenders to show him respect from the outside. Additionally, his best highlight of the year wasn’t a dunk, but rather a block, in which Williamson used his seemingly superhuman leap to swat away a shot from Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter.
Williamson is projected to be the first player taken in the 2019 NBA Draft, and while whatever team he joins will undoubtedly enjoy the myriad of dunk highlights he provides, they will also be adding a great all-around player to their roster.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.