By: Will Burchfield
Watching highlights of Zion Williamson, the high-flying, wind-milling, rim-rattling phenom from Spartanburg Day School in South Carolina, it’s hard to know how to feel.
Awe for the 16-year-old man-child? Or sympathy for his opponents?
We’re somewhere in the middle, but decide for yourself.
First, though, a little background on Williamson.
The 6’8, 225-pound small forward is the consensus No. 2 recruit in the 2018 class. He has offers from just about every blue-chip program in the country, including Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, UNC and Arizona. He’s scored over 40 points in ten games this season, routinely accounting for more than half of his team’s total.
In the South Carolina Independent School Association – not exactly a basketball hotbed – Williamson embodies the phrase ‘a man amongst boys.’
His highlight reel is…extensive.
Let’s start on Monday night, in Spartanburg Day’s 94-32 win over Shannon Forest Christian School in the first round of the SCISA Tournament. (The Griffins played Shannon Forest three times this season and won by an average of 53 points.)
No. 12 will tell his grandkids about this one day:
Now here we are on Feb. 9 against Carolina Day School in an 83-59 win for the Griffins. Williamson had a cool 49 points.
No. 20 could try to box Zion out, but he decides it’s better to just duck out of the way. We don’t blame him:
Also against Carolina Day. That’s a nice look by No. 4, who executes the great play known as, ‘Throw It Anywhere Near The Basket And Let Zion Handle The Rest.’
Next up: Oakbrook Preparatory School, who fell 78-54 to the Griffins on Feb. 7. Williamson had 36 points and a modest 21 rebounds.
In the opening sequence, Zion is literally playing by himself: Swat, steal (from his own teammate), pass (to himself off the backboard), two-handed flush. In the second sequence, No. 4 shows off that play again. It’s unstoppable. Meanwhile, check out the guard from Oakbrook hustling back on defense — like we said, ‘Man amongst boys.’
Next up: Greenwood Christian School on Jan 31. The Mighty Hawks appeared to be paying for their sins in this one, an 87-15 demolition. Williamson had 45 points – tripling the total of his opponent – and 20 boards.
Uhh, the scoreboard is malfunctioning:
Also against Greenwood Christian. Zion dunks so hard the ball ricochets to half court:
Poor Shannon Forest. Here they are again, in a 92-46 home loss on Jan. 24 when Williamson had 41 points, 10 rebounds…and one vicious block.
Kudos to No. 2 for driving the rim, but shame on him for expecting a different result. The reactions here are priceless. Little No. 22 is dumbfounded, while No. 20 is something between terrified and amused.
The caption on this one says it all:
Same with this one:
And here’s Zion just recreating that famous block by LeBron James in Game 7 of last year’s NBA Finals.
The Griffins finished the regular season with a 23-6 record and – surprise, surprise – went undefeated in league play. Can anyone take them down in the SCISA Tournament?? Follow along here to find out.
Meanwhile, expect Williamson to be dunking on NBA players in the near future. No. 4 will be throwing him the lob.