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Zion Williamson Wins Wooden Award

Another big pickup for Duke’s sensations freshman.

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Duke v Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - FEBRUARY 12: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils walks down the court against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on February 12, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In Los Angeles Friday, Zion Williamson won the Wooden Award given annually to the nation’s best player. He also picked up the Karl Malone award as the nation’s best power forward. It’s a great accomplishment and something he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

For all the celebration of his physical gifts however, there’s a lot more to the kid. Take for instance what his former teacher, Bill Pell says. This is just...who knew?

“I hope he won’t mind me saying this, but he’s a hell of a poet. The kid can write...He’d give them to me -- he was very cautious. I began making suggestions. Then all he did was write poems ... and the deeper we got into the year, the more complicated and sophisticated they became. They were remarkable...I said, ‘Zion ... you’re going to be as good a writer as you are a basketball player if you follow through on this.’”

That’s not saying the guy can write a little bit; it’s saying he has a second significant talent and that he has a lot more to say than most people would imagine.

When you add this to what his high school coach, Lee Sartor, has said about Williamson being an introvert (the linked article here touches on that briefly), it really changes your perception of the guy.

Although Sartor said that Williamson recognizes that he is on one level an entertainer, he is by nature an introvert.

We’re sure that he loves the game - it’s obvious when you watch him play - but there’s more to this guy than most of us will ever understand.

As much as we look forward to his NBA career, we’re equally curious about where his journey will take him beyond basketball. It’s so easy to lump guys in as jocks or whatever, but they are people too and some are more interesting than others.

If we had one wish for Williamson as he gets ready for the NBA, it would be that he gets a chance to meet and talk to Bill Russell. The former Celtics great is the greatest winner in the game’s history. He’s also a guy who, we expect, would have a lot in common with Williamson and Zion would benefit immensely from knowing him.

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