Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson was the No. 1 pick of the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019NBA Draft on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
After he was selected, the superstar forward was overcome with emotion – – breaking down in tears with his mother, Sharonda Sampson, by his side.
“I don’t know what to say. I didn’t think I’d be in this position,” Williamson said. “My mom sacrificed a lot for me. I wouldn’t be here without my mom. She did everything for me and I just want to thank her. She put her dreams aside for mine. She always looked out for her family and friends before herself.”
He hugged members of his family and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after his name was called first during televised event, The AP reports.
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“You can hear people say things like, Oh, that it was likely I was going to go No. 1.’ But I guess you don’t know until you actually go through it. Hearing my name called and I was able to make it on stage without a tear, shake the commissioner’s hand, but in the interview my mom was standing beside me, and my emotions just took over.”
“Williamson dominated at the college basketball level as a freshman, averaging 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game last season,” UPI.com writes.
According to TMZ, Williamson’s rookie contract could be worth around $45 million over 4 seasons …but he’ll be bagging hella more with endorsements and other sponsorships.
Shoe legend Sonny Vaccaro — who’s responsible for Michael Jordan’s rookie deal with Nike –previously told the outlet he’d give Zion $100 MILLION to ink a shoe contract.
As we previously reported, Master P and his son Lil Romeo offered Williamson a massive $20 million shoe deal and a role in the sequel to their comedy flick “I Got The Hook-Up 2,” which comes out in July. The movie features Jeezy, Michael Blackson, A.J. Johnson, D.C. Young Fly, Jennifer Lee and a host of others.
“I know Zion gonna get a big shoe deal from Nike or Adidas or whatever. We gonna get him a deal just to have to wear shoes outside of basketball,” Master P told TMZ Sports.. “Just to wear it on the side, not in the game, I’m saying $20 [million].”
In related news, Williamson got hit with a $100 million lawsuit just before the draft. According to the Associated Press, Prime Sports Marketing is counter-suing the future NBA player and the agency that represents him, CAA, for a breach of contract.