UNC Interest Surging for Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson has attacked the adidas circuit with a vengeance this month, and the Tar Heel staff has taken notice.

Ryan Falker, head coach of the adidas-sponsored Game Elite 17U team, has had a busy few days.

In addition to coaching his team this past weekend at Adidas’ session in Atlanta; he’s been fielding calls from reporters and college coaches nearly non-stop.

They all want to talk to, learn more about or offer a scholarship to his team’s best player – Zion Williamson, a class of 2018, 6-6 forward from Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School.

“It’s been crazy,” Falker said on Sunday night.

In just the last few days, Williamson has received offers from LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, N.C. State, Miami and Virginia.

“He’s a hybrid player,” Falker said. “He plays from the perimeter just as well as he does from the post. His IQ is what separates him from his opponents, and he’s only a 15-year-old boy. I haven’t seen someone at that age do what he does. His athleticism is absolutely through the roof.”

Through two sessions, Williamson was the only player on the Adidas circuit in the top five in both points (23.2) and rebounds (12.2) per game. Over the weekend, he registered double doubles in all but one of his team’s four games.

“The coaches usually say they like how versatile of a player I am,” Williamson said. “I model my game after LeBron James. I’m about the same height as him. I like how he can handle the ball. When has someone smaller he can post them up. When he has someone bigger, he can drive by them and attack.”

Prior to the flurry of activity this weekend, Florida, Georgia and Clemson had already offered Williamson. He’d also received interest from Kentucky, Stanford, North Carolina, Florida State and South Carolina.

During the first evaluation period (April 15-17), Roy Williams and assistant coach Steve Robinson watched Williamson and Game Elite. A few days later, assistant coach C.B. McGrath stopped by Spartanburg Day to watch Williamson in open gym.

“He came and introduced himself to me and watched me workout for about 90 minutes,” Williams son. “He said overall he was pleased with my performance and that they’d be watching me.”

This weekend, Williams, McGrath and assistant Hubert Davis watched Game Elite against Team Loaded N.C., which features 2018 UNC commit Rechon “Leaky” Black and 2018 target Jairus Hamilton.

Williamson impressed, putting up 19 points and 12 rebounds in an easy win over Team Loaded N.C. Two in-person evaluations by Roy Williams, viewings by all three assistant coaches and a visit to Spartanburg show the Tar Heels have significant interest in the South Carolina native.

“I’m blessed to have another school looking at me, especially a school like North Carolina,” Williamson said. “It’s amazing the stuff they’ve done – they’ve had people like Michael Jordan come through their program and Roy Williams is an amazing coach.”

Added Falker: “His athleticism, the way he explodes to the rim, would be any coach’s dream. He is an instinctive rebounder and he passes the ball at a high level – he makes basketball plays and makes them look easy. Any coach would want that and I’m certain a great school like North Carolina would as well.”

Williamson’s father, Lee Anderson, played at Clemson in the late 1970s under former head coach Bill Foster. His mother was also a very good high school basketball player.

“They’re a very knowledgeable family as far as basketball,” Falker said. “His mom is a school teacher and they’re just a great family. He’s an unbelievable kid. It’s going to be scary how his body matures the next couple of years.”


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