We saw that Jeff Goodman’s latest podcast (It’s called Good’n’Plenty) featured Zion OMG Williamson’s high school coach, Lee Sartor, who had some really interesting things to say about his most celebrated player.
We’ll let you listen for yourself but just a couple of things worth passing on: first, Sartor says Williamson’s vertical is “48...maybe 50”.
We’ll pause as that sinks in. And second, two things we just loved. First, his explanation of how Williamson is actually an introvert, which you’d never guess from his public persona, and second, a story that really speaks to his character and desire to include his teammates on the ride.
He was chosen MVP of a lower-level AAU tournament in (we think) eighth grade and gave the trophy to a teammate. Sartor said he didn’t remember the kid doing anything and he asked Williamson’s AAU coach and stepdad Lee Anderson what happened.
Turns out the kid hit his first shot of the season and Zion just wanted to acknowledge it. You may have noticed that he usually has walk-on Mike Buckmire next to him when he’s interviewed. Same basic impulse.
By the way, along the same lines, listen for the water story.
Sartor says he always tells people that Williamson’s heart could lift 1,000 pounds. You’ll believe it after listening to this.
When you listen to him, first you’ll get a sense that it was Williamson’s personality and how he got to where he is but you’ll also realize that Sartor coached him brilliantly. Williamson’s talent is all his own but Sartor allowed him to grow into his talents in a wonderful way. He’s now at Erskine College (D-II) and worth keeping an eye on.
The nickname for Erskine is the Flying Fleet. How cool is that? And the logo is pretty cool too (hit the link above).
One more nugget worth filing away. Sartor says Williamson has dunks like no one has ever seen before. We don’t really care that much for the NBA Dunk Contest, but we’re not missing it next year. The silly gimmicks we saw this year are not going cut it anymore.