NBA Draft Preview: Zion Williamson's Basketball Journey

June 20, 2019 - 9:42 am

Duke forward Zion Williamson is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick taken by the New Orleans Pelicans in Thursday's NBA Draft. 

Williamson is a 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward form Salisbury, North Carolina. He began playing AAU basketball when he was just five years old, playing on a team of nine year olds. He attended high school at Spartanburg Day School in South Carolina where he won three state titles and began to develop a reputation with his high-flying dunks. He can thank his mother, Sharona Sampson, for that as she was a high jumper in high school who could clear six feet. 

Williamson was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country and chose Duke over Clemson, Kansas, Kentucky and UNC. At Duke, Williamson only solidified his status as the best prospect in the country, sweeping all six National Player of the Year awards despite his team being eliminated in the Elite Eight. He has grown his popularity too, accumulating 3.2 million Instagram followers. 

The 18-year-old will take his first step in carrying that superstardom into the NBA when he is drafted on Thursday night. 

Where to Watch

Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m., ESPN and ESPNWatch

First-Round Draft Order

1. New Orleans Pelicans

2. Memphis Grizzlies

3. New York Knicks

4. Los Angeles Lakers (agreed to be traded to Pelicans)

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

6. Phoenix Suns

7. Chicago Bulls

8. Atlanta Hawks

9. Washington Wizards

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas)

11. Minnesota Timberwolves 

12. Charlotte Hornets

13. Miami Heat

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)

15. Detroit Pistons

16. Orlando Magic

17. Brooklyn Nets

18. Indiana Pacers

19. San Antonio Spurs

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers via Memphis)

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

22. Boston Celtics

23. Utah Jazz

24. Philadelphia 76ers

25. Portland Trail Blazers

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston)

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver)

28. Golden State Warriors:

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto)

30. Milwaukee Bucks