Zion Williamson has made a name for himself, blowing up over the past year with highlights and jaw dropping dunks. He’s a rare type of player with outlier athleticism. We caught up with Williamson at adidas Nations, where he earned MVP with 28 points and ten rebounds in the championship game. By now we’ve all heard of Big Baller Brand but how long until “Flyin Zion” gear hits the stores?
NBADraft.net: Summer’s coming to a close, we’re wrapping up with adidas Nations, what was your impression of the camp?
Zion Williamson: As always adidas does an amazing job of bringing great players and sticking them on teams and just having us bond. As my last AAU event, it’s the best way to go out to me.
NBADraft.net: A lot of people know you from your YouTube highlights but what’s something that people don’t know about your game if they haven’t seen you play in person?
Zion Williamson: I make my teammates better. I can handle the ball, I can play positions one through four. Of course, that’s not going to show when all you show is dunk highlights. I don’t let that stuff bother me, I just go out there and show the scouts and stuff why I’m one of the best.
NBADraft.net: Do the conclusions people make from your highlight videos add any pressure to you? Do you feel like you have anything to live up to that’s hard to meet?
Zion Williamson: For me, I feel like I’m a rare situation so I feel like it’s just early. Like being a pro early because pros have to go through all the haters and all that extra stuff, so I feel like it’s just learning how to deal with it young, being a step forward on being a pro.
NBADraft.net: If I’m a college coach and I recruit you, what kind of player am I getting?
Zion Williamson: You’re getting an all-around player that can play positions one through four and can help his team in any way needed.
NBADraft.net: Is there anybody you model your game after?
Zion Williamson: Not really, I just try to bring my own tenacity and skillset to the game.
NBADraft.net: What’s something you want to add to your game or get better at as you finish high school?
Zion Williamson: Like Coach (Sam) Mitchell said, I’m still young, I’m still not a finished product and I never want to be a finished product so I want to get better at everything.
NBADraft.net: How’s recruiting coming for you?
Zion Williamson: Recruiting’s amazing. Going through this process and talking to all these college coaches and meeting all of them. Now, I’m probably just going to go home, sit down with my mom, and talk over which schools that I’m probably putting on a list.
NBADraft.net: What’s something you’re looking for when choosing a school?
Zion Williamson: Just taking official visits. Just seeing what college life is about, like at a football game or a basketball game because I know a lot of kids want my opportunity so I just take full advantage of it.
NBADraft.net: Who would you say is the best player you’ve ever played against?
Zion Williamson: I would say Romeo (Langford). He’s just so smooth, his game is so smooth. I don’t know how he does it and I respect him.
NBADraft.net: How did you like playing with Romeo here at adidas Nations?
Zion Williamson: It’s amazing knowing I can force the defense to come and double team me and having a sharp shooter that can shoot anywhere and attack the basket. It’s just amazing because I don’t get that opportunity much.
NBADraft.net: At what age did you realize basketball was something you wanted to pursue and could have a career in?
Zion Williamson: When I was four, I went to my parents and at the time I didn’t know what the NBA was, I told them my dream was to go to college and play basketball but as I got older, I learned about the NBA and that became my dream.
NBADraft.net: How old were you when you first dunked a basketball?
Zion Williamson: Ninth grade.
NBADraft.net: What’s been the biggest moment of your high school career so far?
Zion Williamson: Winning the second state championship. I don’t really care about individual awards but when your whole team gets an award and you get to see your teammates climb the ladder and cut the net, it’s just a great feeling because you all know that you worked all season for that.
NBADraft.net: What are some goals you have as you finish high school?
Zion Williamson: My third state championship. Of course, pick a college and enjoy high school while I’m still in it.
NBADraft.net: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Zion Williamson: Hopefully a young NBA All Star. Hopefully being the man on that team, having a house and stuff like that for my mom where she doesn’t have to work. Just being in the NBA, being one of the best.