Zion Williamson: Early Life, NBA & Net Worth

Zion Williamson is a professional basketball player from America who plays for the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Pelicans (NBA). He plays the position of power forward.

Following a freshman year with the Duke Blue Devils, Zion was selected with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Likewise, in 2020, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The player became the fourth-youngest NBA player to be selected to an All-Star game in 2021.

Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson (Source: Instagram)

Williamson’s speed and length allow him to defend multiple positions effectively, though the player’s defensive effort has been questioned. Likewise, his explosive play makes him a reliable shot-blocker and a strong rebounder.

Want to know more about Zion Williamson? Then this article is for you! Here, we have gathered all about Williamson’s professional and personal life, including his net worth!

But, before that, some quick facts about Williamson. 

Quick Facts

Full NameZion Lateef Williamson
NicknameZanos
Birth DateJuly 6, 2000
Birth PlaceSalisbury, North Carolina, United States
ReligionChristianity
EthnicityBlack
NationalityAmerican
Education
  • Spartanburg Day School
  • Duke University
HoroscopeCancer
Father’s NameLateef Williamson
Mother’s NameSharonda Sampson
StepfatherLee Anderson
Age22 Years Old
Height6 feet 7 inches (200 cm)
Weight129 kg (284 lbs)
BuildAthletic
Favorite ActorWill Smith
Favorite FoodSpanish
Eye ColorDark Brown
Hair ColorBlack
ProfessionBasketball Player
Playing PositionPower forward
Active years (Senior Career)2019 – present
TeamDuke Blue Devils (2018-2019), New Orleans Pelicans (2019 – present)
Sexual OrientationStraight
LeagueNBA
Marital StatusUnmarried (In a relationship)
Girlfriend’s NameTiana White
Net Worth$8 million
Salary$10 million
Brand EndorsementsNike, Gatorade, Mountain Dew
Social MediaFacebookTwitterInstagram
MerchPaperback
Last UpdateDecember 2022

Zion Williamson: Early Life and Family

Zion Lateef Williamson, the NBA player was born July 6, 2000, in Salisbury, North Carolina, U.S. His father’s name is Lateef Williamson and his mother’s name is Sharonda Sampson. 

Zion’s father, Lateef was a football defensive lineman at Mayo High School in Darlington, South Carolina. He was also a 1993 High School All-American and had committed to NC State before transferring to Livingstone College. 

Likewise, Zion’s mother, Sharonda was a sprinter at Livingstone before teaching health and physical education in middle school.

zion-williamson-mother
Zion Williamson with his mother

Sharonda named Williamson after Mount Zion in Jerusalem, following her grandmother’s advice to name him “something extra special.”

Following the death of his maternal grandmother when Williamson was two years old, his family relocated to Florence, South Carolina.

Parent’s Divorce

Sharonda and Lateef’s marriage did not go as planned. When Zion was five years old, the couple divorced and separated from each other.

As a result, Zion has few memories of his birth father. Whatsoever, Zion admitted on social media that he loves his biological father. However, he is not close to him. 

Zion Williamson’s Stepdad

Sharonda married Lee Anderson shortly after her divorce from Lateef. Lee was originally from South Carolina. He attended Clemson University there.

Lee was a member of the university’s collegiate basketball team. From 1975 to 1978, he appeared in 16 games for the Tigers. Similarly, he had averaged one point per game.

Zion began working with his stepfather, to improve his point guard skills since Lee was a former basketball player. Zion then joined the basketball team at Johnakin Middle School in Marion, South Carolina, and averaged 20 points per game.

In middle school, the player was coached by his mother. So, we can say that Zion’s parents played a huge role in shaping Zion and making him stand where he is today. 

The player was a point guard in middle school and only lost three games in two years. In 2013, he led Johnakin to an 8–1 record and a conference championship. 

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Zion Williamson: High School Career

Zion attended Spartanburg Day School, a small K–12 private school in Spartanburg, South Carolina. At Spartanburg, Zion played basketball for the Griffins.

Similarly, as a junior, Zion averaged 36.8 points, 13 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 3 steals per game. Prior to the season, the player was one of 50 players named to the Naismith Prep Player of the Year watch list.

In addition, Zion’s viral highlight videos catapulted him into the national spotlight beginning in the 2016–17 season.

On November 15, 2016, he made his season debut, scoring 42 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in a win over Cardinal Newman High School. In the same month, NBA player Stephen Curry praised his highlights.

Likewise, the player was also named to the USA Today All-USA first team and the MaxPreps All-American second team for his high school season in 2017–18. Moreover, he was also named South Carolina Mr. Basketball and runner-up for Mr. Basketball USA.

Zion Williamson: College Career

Zion attended Duke University. On August 15, 2018, Zion appeared in a preseason game for Duke, winning 86–67 over Canadian university Ryerson. The player recorded a double-double of 29 points and 13 rebounds and shot 3-of-4 from three-point range.

Likewise, Zion had another strong performance against Clemson on January 5, 2019, with 10 rebounds, 25 points, and a 360-degree dunk in 22 minutes.

Williamson also became the first Duke player since Christian Laettner in 1992 to have at least 25 points, ten rebounds, and five steals in a game. In 33 games as a freshman, Zion averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 2.1 steals per game. 

Photo clicked after winning the ACC championship
Photo clicked after winning the ACC championship (Source: Instagram)

The player shot 68 percent from the field, which led the ACC, to second in the NCAA Division I. It was the highest ever by a freshman.

In addition, Williamson is the only freshman to have 500 points, 50 steals, and 50 blocks in a season, joining Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis. The player declared his eligibility for the 2019 NBA Draft on April 15, 2019.

Zion Williamson: Professional Basketball Career

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Zion with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20, 2019. The player officially signed with the Pelicans on July 1, 2019.

Williamson finished his rookie season by averaging 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game on 58.3 percent shooting from the field.

He was the rookie with the most points per game, the second-most rebounds per game, and the most offensive rebounds per game.

Likewise, he also became the first rookie since Michael Jordan in 1983 to have 16 20-point games in their first 20 games, as well as the highest scoring average in his first 24 career NBA games.

The player was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team on September 15. Similarly, on February 12, 2021, Williamson set a new career-high with 36 points in a 143–130 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. 

The player finished the game on 14/15 shooting, making him the youngest player in NBA history to do so. Zion was named to his first NBA All-Star Game on February 23, 2021.

Awards

  • NBA All-Star (2021)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2020)
  • National college player of the year (2019)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (2019)
  • Wayman Tisdale Award (2019)
  • Karl Malone Award (2019)
  • ACC Athlete of the Year (2019)
  • ACC Player of the Year (2019)
  • First-team All-ACC (2019)
  • ACC Rookie of the Year (2019)
  • ACC All-Freshman team (2019)
  • NABC Freshman of the Year (2019)
  • ACC Tournament MVP (2019)
  • ACC Tournament (2019)

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Zion Williamson: Injuries and Setbacks

Zion suffered a Grade 1 knee sprain in a game against North Carolina on February 20, 2019, after his foot ripped through his Nike shoe and caused him to slip.

The player did not return to the game, which Duke lost by a score of 88–72. As a result of the incident, Nike’s stock dropped by $1.1 billion the next day.

Likewise, Zion suffered a fractured foot during the offseason (2021) and underwent surgery. In late September 2021, team officials hoped he’d be ready to play by the start of the season.

By mid-October, his expected return date had been pushed back until December. It was announced in mid-December that the injury was slow to heal.

Further, it was said that Zion would be out for another four to six weeks. The player’s possible return to action around the all-star break. The news that Zion would not play for the team was announced in mid-March 2022.

Age, Body Measurements, and More

Zion is currently 22 years old. According to the Chinese calendar, the player’s zodiac is Cancer and he was born in the Dragon year. 

Talking about Williamson’s physical features, he stands 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 129 kilograms (285 pounds). Further, the player has body measurements of 32 inches chest and 37 inches hip.

Zion Williamson's body
Zion Williamson’s body (Source: Instagram)

Zion reportedly goes to the gym 5 to 6 times per week and focuses primarily on muscle mass. Cardio, agility training, vertical jump, and stretching are some of his general workouts. In addition, he engages in plyometric training, squats, and sprinting.

Along with exercise, Zion believes that staying hydrated is essential. Overall, he prefers whole grains and lean protein for his meals and lunches. He does not, however, permit carbs to be consumed alongside him.

Zion Williamson: Interesting Facts

  • On January 15, 2017, Zion gained national attention when rapper Drake wore his jersey in an Instagram post.
  • The contract is the second-largest in history, trailing only LeBron James‘ $90 million rookie contract signed in 2003. 
  • Zion is left-handed and is nearly ambidextrous, capable of using either hand.
  • On March 13, 2020, Zion pledged to pay the salaries of all Smoothie King Center employees for 30 days during the suspension of the NBA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Despite having a heavyweight for a basketball player, Zion is known for his quickness and leaping ability. NBA player Kevin Durant called him a once-in-a-generation type athlete. 
  • Zion’s physical characteristics have drawn comparisons to former NBA stars such as Anthony Mason, Charles Barkley, and Larry Johnson.

Social Media

Zion Williamson: Net Worth

According to Forbes, Zion Williamson is ranked 57th among the world’s highest-paid athletes and currently has a net worth of $27.3 million. 

The player’s annual average salary is $7.3 million. Further, the player earns $20 million from various brand endorsements.

For instance, Zion currently has a long-term annual contract with Nike worth $13 million. Along with it, he also displays their Jordan brand sneakers.

At the start of his NBA career, Zion Williamson was the first overall pick in the first round. Then he signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Pelicans.

Moreover, Zion currently lives in a full-fledged mansion that costs $4,995 per month and is worth $950,000. It is in North Carolina, and he lives there with his entire family.

FAQs

Was Zion Williamson always this tall?

No, Zion Williamson was not always this tall. The player grew from 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) to 6 ft 3 in (1.75 m) between eighth and ninth grade. By his second year in high school, Zion stood 6 ft 6 inches. 

Is Zion interested in other sports?

Aside from basketball, Williamson also played soccer and quarterback in football. However, the player set his sights on becoming a college basketball star when he was five years old.

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