College sensation Zion Williamson has admitted that he hates being classified as a dunker, although he can't really blame anyone. He really flies.
The 18-year-old, who is likely to be the No.1 pick in this year's NBA Draft, has been living above the rim all season. Yet there are several other facets to his game which he wishes people would consider.
Williamson came off a monster game against Wake Forest on Tuesday, becoming the first Duke freshman to record 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in a match, as the Blue Devils stomped to an 87-65 road win.
Following the game, the talented teenager revealed that he doesn't exactly appreciate the "dunker" title.
"I kind of hate being classified as a dunker," he said, per David M. Hale of ESPN.com. "Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] wouldn't have recruited me if I was just a dunker. But I guess people on the outside don't understand that. I can't play to impress other people. I'm playing to get better for myself and my teammates and hopefully make a run for a national championship."
Williamson shot 13 of 16 from the field on Tuesday, also hitting 3 of 4 shots from beyond the arc to take his record to 7 of 25 for the season. The latter numbers are nothing to boast but the player claims he's growing in confidence when it comes to shooting triples.
"Coach is always telling me to shoot the ball, but if it's not falling, then I'm not going to," he explained, having launched an airball on his first attempt. "But after I shot that one over the rim, they were like, 'Z, shoot another one,' and I got it right back and made it. I think my confidence from three is getting a lot better."
"I have confidence in him doing everything," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski added. "If I don't, there's something wrong with me. He's a complete player."
NBA legend Vince Carter has been watching attentively too. The 41-year-old Atlanta Hawks vet believes that the college star is ready for the NBA.
"He'll be ready [for the NBA]," Carter told ESPN. "One thing I learned when I got in this league is that yes, I'm athletic, but there's gonna be a lot of guys up here that are athletic. What else do you bring to the table? I think he's going through that phase, kind of what I went through."
What This Means
Like Carter, Williamson will enter the NBA with the reputation of a supremely athletic dunker, and he will have some convincing to do.
Yet, even now, it's clear that the young Blue Devil can do a lot more than just stuff the basketball in the rim. He has all the markings of a true star and is very unlikely to have problems settling in when he reaches the NBA.