Zion Williamson, a high school basketball phenom, is thinking. He is pondering. Zion and his family, especially his stepdad, who is his main advisor, are weighing options. They know the mood of thousands of fans across the US depend on their decision.
A total of 22 universities from the country have offered Zion an athletic scholarship to come and join their basketball team next year. Others would have offered too, but know they wouldn't stand a chance. Zion Williamson is the most coveted high school basketball player from South Carolina ever.
Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Roy Williams, Bill Self - they have all come to Spartanburg, SC in the past year, putting up their best faces in front of Zion and his parents, trying to look and sound as dignified as possible while pleading the 17-old to come to their school. Brad Brownell of Clemson and Frank Martin of South Carolina call him or text him almost every day, he says. "We want Zion!" - the cry first heard during Zion's unofficial visit to a Gamecock game has been copied now wherever he goes.
Coaches from the universities with best basketball programs are not the only celebrities lining up to watch games at Spartanburg Day School. One can see a lot of current and former NBA players in the first row of their small gym, oowing and ahwing during every Zion leap, dunk, block, and other of his nifty moves. Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the NBA, calls him a "bull in a china shop" and "one-in-a-generation athlete." Even though being only 6'6'' and a full 275 pounds, Zion is pure muscle. He can play anywhere from a shooting guard to a power forward, but he could probably manage as a point guard and a center as well. The videos with his windmills and double-clutches are a Youtube sensation.
So, the question on every South Carolina Gamecocks fan these days, as the basketball team is losing to average teams only seven months after reaching the final four (PJ, why did you have to leave?), must be: "is there a chance Zion comes to Columbia?" Unfortunately, the chances are slim. According to the latest "Crystal Ball" predictions on the 247 sports site, Clemson has just passed Kentucky as the school with best chances to acquire him next year. Yes, it hurts. If he went to Kansas, at least we wouldn't have to watch him in the orange jersey stuffing our basket next year.
Wherever he goes, true basketball fans will still continue to follow his promising career and hope he makes it in the NBA in a few years. And, of course, it is human go hope. There is still a chance, no matter how slim, to see him in the "Rooster" next year.