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High-school dunking phenom makes college choice

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The rich get richer … again.

In a year where Duke is enjoying what will likely be its only season with potential top NBA Draft pick Marvin Bagley III, the Blue Devils are already stocked for his departure.

Zion Williamson, ranked No. 2 among ESPN’s top 100 high school recruits, has made a verbal commitment to Duke.

He made the much-awaited announcement Saturday night on ESPN 2.

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The Spartanburg, South Carolina, native is considered one of — if not the — best dunker in all of high school basketball.

It’s obvious that the pull of five national championships and a hall of fame coach were the deciding factors.

“Duke stood out because the brotherhood represents a family,” Williamson said. “Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) is just the most legendary coach that ever coached college basketball. I feel like going to Duke University, I can learn a lot from him.”

Williamson’s commitment gives Krzyzewski an unprecedented haul — Duke becomes the first program in college history to land the three top-rated-players on ESPN’s Top 100 recruiting list, having already received commitments from No.1 R.J.Barrett and No.3 Cam Reddish.

Just for good measure, the Blue Devils also landed a commitment from No. 10 Tre Jones.

Williamson is probably the most publicized high-school player since LeBron James. The 6-foot-6, 272-pound power forward says that’s a positive and a negative.

“It’s fun, and it can be not-so-fun at the same time,” he previously said of the attention. “It’s fun because, going all over the world, I was in Italy and people were asking me for pictures, ‘Are you Zion? I don’t believe you’re in Italy right now. This is crazy.’ I tell [people] my name, and they go, ‘Oh my god, it’s really you.’ That part’s fun. People knowing who I am.”

Oh, yes, the know.

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Williamson has more than 105,000 followers on Twitter, even though his last original tweet came nearly three weeks ago.

And they’ll definitely know him in Durham.

Any guesses on who the preseason No. 1 team will be next season?

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
Topics of Expertise