On a recent visit to Duke, Zion Williamson sat down with Mike Krzyzewski, who praised Williamson for having one of the biggest brands of any high school player he’s seen in a while.
That observation has even more credence now that Williamson, a 6-foot-6 wing from Spartanburg Day (S.C.), has officially surpassed 1 million followers on Instagram.
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“It’s hard to say how it feels,” said Williamson, who is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 100. “It’s hard to believe, but it’s exciting at the same time. My friend said a million different people clicked that follow button because they want to follow what’s going on in my life. When I thought about it like that it was even crazier.”
Williamson is still second in the follower count to LaMelo Ball, a junior who is ranked No. 7 overall in the ESPN 60.
Ball has amassed an Instagram following north of 2.9 million.
Still, while Ball is talented in his own right, his star power is mostly rooted in the celebrity of his father LaVar and his oldest brother, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo.
Williamson’s fame grew from his highlight videos showing his trademark rim-rocking dunks and vicious blocks that have racked up millions of views.
That led to Williamson being featured on ESPN’s Sportscenter Top 10 multiple times, which opened the door for him to build relationships with countless athletes and hip-hop stars like Quavo and Drake, who famously posted a picture of himself wearing Williamson’s Spartanburg Day jersey on Instagram.
“I looked at it and I was really excited at first,” Williamson said of reaching the million mark. “Then I said to myself, ‘How many more millions of followers can I get?’ That’s just how I think.”
To that end, Williamson referenced Jay Z’s “You Don’t Know” song in which the Brooklyn rap icon said: “One million, 2 million, 3 million, 4… In just five years, 40 million more!”
“It’s just like Jay Z said,” Williamson said with a laugh. “You’ve gotta think about it like that. I don’t want to be content with anything right now. I want to keep growing in every area.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY