After months, one of the top recruits from college basketball’s Class of 2018 was finally connected with some of the illicit behavior mentioned by the FBI.
As reported by Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, Duke freshman superstar Zion Williamson was raised as a prospect of interest by Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend, whose conversation with Adidas consultant Merl Code was recorded and captured by the FBI.
According to Wetzel, here’s how that conversation played out:
Code: “Hey, but between me and you, you know, he asked about some stuff. You know? And I said, ‘Well, we’ll talk about that, you decide’ … I know what he’s asking for. He’s asking for opportunities from an occupational perspective, he’s asking for cash in the pocket and he’s asking for housing for him and his family.”
Townsend: “I’ve got to just try to work and figure out a way because if that’s what it takes to get him here for 10 months, we’re going to have to do it some way.”
As Wetzel points out, it’s unclear whether the “he” who asked Code about benefits was Williamson or Williamson’s father … or perhaps even another “handler.”
It remains to be seen how this most recent revelation could impact Williamson’s availability for Duke in the forthcoming 2018-19 season, after which it is assumed he will declare for the NBA Draft. It’s important to note that since the claims in question are related to Kansas’ recruitment of Williamson, his current school isn’t directly involved or connected.
Will the fact Williamson committed to Duke and not one of the Adidas schools that recruited him help him retain his eligibility? Is he actually at significant risk of being taken away from the Duke rotation just before the season starts?
That could all be sorted in the days ahead as the hoops scandal case continues in New York.