Williamson Rising, Terps In Pursuit

Spartanburg (S.C.) wing Zion Williamson is only a 2018 recruit, but he’s already considered one of the best prospects in the South.

Spartanburg (S.C.) wing Zion Williamson is only a 2018 recruit, but he’s already considered one of the best prospects in the South. The 6-foot-6, 185-pound four-star showed out on the Adidas circuit with Game Elite during the April live sessions, and has since procured a bevy of college looks.

“It’s been a really exciting time,” Williamson said. “This is my first year on the circuit, and the amount of offers I’ve picked up is, like, 15 plus. It’s been an amazing experience. My first big Division I offer was from Clemson my freshman year, but after this live session schools like Maryland; Tennessee; UConn; Georgia Tech; Georgia; Va Tech; UVA; Florida; South Carolina; UCLA and a few more all came in. It’s been a blessing.”

The wing-guard mentioned that none of the current looks are currently jumping out to him, however. He said each school that’s offered has “caught my eye” and has his attention.

The Maryland verbal materialized May 10 courtesy of assistant Nima Omidvar, who watched one of Williamson’s AAU sessions. The Terps’ area recruiter is Dustin Clark, but Williamson said he hasn’t had contact with him yet.

“One of the coaches from Maryland was just explaining their program a little bit and was telling me how they could prepare me for a better future – on an off the court,” Williamson said. “That really stayed with me, because he was talking not just about basketball things, but what the school could do for me in the future if basketball doesn’t work out.

“So far, the only two schools that have said anything like that to me are Maryland and Virginia. The [Wahoos’] head coach [Tony Bennett] was telling me all about the opportunities I would have with a Virginia degree, and that sounded great too. Virginia sounds like a great opportunity for me too.”

Indeed, Williamson is an academic-oriented recruit and an honors student at Spartanburg. He said education is of the utmost importance to him.

“I want to major in business management and own my own business one day,” Williamson said. “So that’s something I definitely will be looking at in a college – their business programs and how seriously they take academics.”

The Spartanburg native said he didn’t know much about the Terps beyond his brief coach encounter, however. He’s aware they compete in the Big Ten and are Under Armour-affiliated, but didn’t watch many UMD games on TV.

“I know Maryland’s a great school and a great basketball school that's produced some great players,” Williamson said. “But, honestly, I don’t really watch certain teams on TV. I’m not a fan of a particular team. I like to watch specific players and try to adapt their styles to my own.”

That said, Williamson admitted he’d love to land a couple blueblood looks. He said coaches from Duke and Kentucky have both expressed interest.

“It would be an honor to get some of those big offers,” Williamson said. “That would be very exciting for me.”

So far, the only programs Williamson has taken in are to South Carolina's and Clemson's during his sophomore season. He said both were “very good schools” and had plenty to offer.

Williamson has no scheduled visits this summer, nor is he intent on seeing any schools in particular. He said he’s not paying too much attention to colleges at this juncture, the wing more concerned with developing his game.

“If I happen to be in the area of a college campus, maybe I’ll take an unofficial,” Williamson said. “But right now I just want to get better. Next year I’ll have a better idea who I want to see and get to.

“My plan is to see who’s recruiting me the most, narrow things down to like five programs I’m really interested in, and then take five official visits after my senior season.”

At this juncture, though, Williamson’s focused on the upcoming July live period. He said he’s performed well so far, but wants to continue making strides.

“I can beat guys off the dribble, I can post up smaller people, my rebounding is great and my passing is good,” Williamson said. “But things I can improve on are getting a more consistent shot, and just working out some flaws defensively. Like, sometimes I'll get beat off the dribble, and that should never happen.”


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