Duke’s freshman star Zion Williamson will enter the NBA draft
Zion Williamson is leaving Duke after one high-flying season to enter the NBA draft.
Widely projected as the top overall pick in the June draft, the AP national player of the year announced his decision Monday.
The 6-foot-7-inch, 285-pound Williamson captivated all of college basketball with his freakish, once-in-a-generation athleticism, his energy at both ends of the floor, and his omnipresent charisma.
The Atlantic Coast Conference player and rookie of the year averaged 22.6 points — tied for the league lead with teammate RJ Barrett — and 8.9 rebounds. Along the way, he became the face of college basketball this season, routinely coming up with at least one highlight-reel play or show-stopping dunk per game.
He wasn’t the only player to announce his plans to enter the draft Monday.
Virginia guards De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome say they are forgoing their final year of eligibility with the national champions. Both made the announcements on Instagram, and their decisions were confirmed by Virginia.
Hunter, a 6-7 redshirt sophomore, was the Cavaliers’ second-leading scorer (15.2 points per game). He was an All-ACC first-team selection and the league’s defensive player of the year. Jerome , a 6-5 junior, was the starting point guard, but also played some shooting guard. He led the Cavaliers with 202 assists and was second on the team with 79 3-pointers.
Also announcing for the draft was Gonzaga star forward Rui Hachimura. A 6-8 native of Japan, he led Gonzaga in scoring this season with 19.7 points per game while shooting 59% from the field. He was also named the West Coast Conference player of the year.
Two Maryland players, sophomore forward Bruno Fernando and junior guard Anthony Cowan Jr., announced they planned to sign with agents but left open the possibility of returning to the Terps. Under newly adopted NCAA rules, college players are allowed to retain the services of an agent during the evaluation process.
The 6-10 Fernando had 22 double-doubles in 2018-19 and earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors. Cowan led the Terrapins in scoring, assists, and minutes the last two seasons.