DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman forward Zion Williamson has announced that he will enter his name in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The consensus National Player of the Year and a consensus first-team All-American, Williamson was a force on both ends of the floor. The freshman tied for the ACC lead in scoring with 22.6 ppg, was third in rebounding (8.9 rpg), second in steals (2.1) and fifth in blocks (1.8). His .680 field goal percentage led the ACC and was second nationally.
In leading Duke to the program’s 21st ACC Championship and 22nd Elite Eight appearance, the freshman averaged 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in seven postseason games.
Williamson became the first player nationally to sweep the six Player of the Year awards recognized by the NCAA (Wooden, Naismith, NABC, USBWA, AP, Basketball Times) since Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky in 2015. It is just the 21st occurrence since 1982, and the Blue Devils have accounted for four -- Williamson (2019), J.J. Redick (2006), Jason Williams (2002) and Christian Laettner (1992).
“Zion has won every player of the year award, and rightfully so,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He was truly spectacular and humble in the way he handled everything. He represented our program and our university in the best possible manner. He at 18 years old, to be performing at this level, and to express himself in such a humble and unique way, is remarkable. His family has been with us every step of the way, and Zion had a remarkable season.”
Williamson set Duke’s single-game freshman scoring record with 35 points against Syracuse on January 14. He recorded just the fifth season in Duke history of a player getting 50+ blocks and 50+ steals – Shane Battier did it three times (1998, 2000, 2001) and Shelden Williams once (2006). His .680 field goal percentage was the second-high in ACC history, trailing the .697 by North Carolina’s Brandon Haywood in 2000.
“I just want to say thank you,” said Williamson. “Thank you for making this season a dream for me and the best year of my life. Everything about this team was special, and learning from Coach K was a blessing. He taught me so much about the game of basketball. Growing up as a kid in South Carolina, I never thought I would have the opportunity to play at Duke. Now I will pursue my next dream and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft.”
The Spartanburg, S.C., native was the only player nationally to average 20+ points and shoot .600+ from the floor. He teamed with classmate RJ Barrett to become the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each be named a consensus All-American in the same season. The duo also made NCAA history as the first freshman teammates to each average 20+ points in a season.
The Blue Devils have had at least one player selected in 31 of 38 NBA Drafts under Krzyzewski. Coach K has tutored a total of 61 draft picks since taking over the Duke program, including a draft-record 38 first-round selections.
Duke has produced 18 first-round picks in the last 10 seasons, including at least one in each of the last eight years. Thirteen of Duke’s last 15 picks, and 20 of the last 25, have come in the first round, including 13 lottery picks.