CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Zion Williamson won a state title and was all-state last season at Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School, but it’s only since he began dominating on the camp scene that his phone began to ring off the hook.
“My high school team, we don’t play a national schedule, so college coaches didn’t really come out, but after the second adidas session in Atlanta, that’s when my college offers started to blow up,” Williamson said.
That interest came after the 6-7, 220-pound junior-to-be averaged 23.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in four games in Atlanta for Game Elite in the 17U division. He said he has around 22 offers, with most coming recently. He has climbed in the 247Sports.com’s composite rankings to No. 19 in the 2018 class.
“The schools that have contacted me the most are probably Virginia and Clemson,” he said. “(Wednesday), I heard from Tennessee. The ones that caught me off-guard (Wednesday) because they didn’t contact me before were Duke, which called me on the phone, plus Arkansas and Alabama.
“It is a lot to take in because I know I’ll get to the point where I have to make a list and pick my colleges wisely.”
Two days into the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp here, he has been one of the most impressive players. He finishes well in transition and has shown the ability to guard anyone on the floor. Through Thursday’s games, he was averaging 14.8 points a game, to lead all campers.
“Everybody is out here trying to make their image, so if you get the ball on offense, you have to make your opportunity worth it,” Williamson said. “I can score two points, but as long as I get 1o-plus rebounds and at least get my defensive presence felt, I feel like I’ve had a good game.”
Thursday afternoon, making his presence known on defense and offense was a little harder as he was trading bumps with Xavier Tillman of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian, who is 6-9 and 250.
“I’ve guarded guys that big before but he’s actually probably the strongest guy I’ve gone up against,” Williamson said. “I still feel like I got the upper hand on him, defensive-wise. I try to be the most versatile player on the court. If that means being a four and posting up, I’ll do that. If it means playing on the wing, I can do that too.”
After scoring 16 points and 17 points in two games on Wednesday, he finished Thursday night with his biggest game of the camp with 20 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes. Thursday afternoon was his only down game, with six points and his only shot from the floor a standard medium-range jump shot that he hit near the top of the key.
“That’s a part of my game, but not a consistent part of my game,” Williamson said. “It’s one area I’m trying to improve on.”