Video: Zion Williamson returns from injurySouth Carolina star dominated in return to court earlier this month.
High school basketball star Zion Williamson
of Spartanburg Day (Spartanburg, S.C.)
ended the speculation about his future Saturday night by announcing live on ESPN2 that he will play for Duke next season.
On his mother's birthday, Williamson chose the Blue Devils over Clemson, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina among others to land the No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2018 (247Sports
He joins No. 1 recruit R.J. Barrett
of Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
and No. 2 Cameron Reddish
of Westtown (West Chester, Pa.)
to give Duke the top three players in the Class of 2018. Tre Jones
, a point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.)
who is ranked No. 8 in the class, has also signed to Duke, currently ranked fifth in the country at 17-2. The Blue Devils, under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, have won five national championships, the last coming in 2015.
Simply, the rich get richer.
"Duke stood out because the brotherhood represents a family," Williamson said. "Coach K is the most legendary coach that ever coached college basketball. I can learn a lot from him."
It will help to be learning along side three of the top eight players in his class.
"All of us bring our own talents and own uniqueness to the table," he said. "I feel all of us together can do something special at Duke University."
Many thought — even hoped — Williamson might stay in state and choose either Clemson or South Carolina. He sincerely thanked both schools for recruiting him and emphasized a love for his hometown state.
But "My mom said it best, I have to follow my heart and go to where my happiness is. I felt like it was at Duke."
Injuries have kept the 6-foot-6, 270-pound forward off the court for much of his senior year. After more than a month on the sideline, Williamson returned to the Spartanburg Day lineup on Jan. 11 and scored 31 points. Two nights later at the prestigious Spalding Hoophall Classic, he put up 36 points in an ESPN-televised game.
Williamson earned MaxPreps National Junior of the Year honors in 2016-17, piling up 36.8 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while leading the Griffins to a state title.
For his career at Spartanburg Day, Williamson has tallied over 2,500 points, 900 rebounds, 200 steals and 200 assists.