Duke basketball fans across the nation have been anxiously awaiting the return of freshman phenom Zion Williamson, who sat out the last five games of the Blue Devils’ regular season schedule after suffering a right knee sprain in the first 36 seconds of the team’s first matchup against their rivals, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
The wait ended today, however, as Cameron Crazies were delighted with the news this morning that the 18-year-old sensation would be making his return to the basketball court for Duke’s first game in the ACC tournament tonight against Syracuse, Bleacher Report noted.
The news came in the form of an emoji-filled tweet from the official Duke Basketball Twitter account, which has since accrued over 10,000 likes from fans of the ACC player of the year.
The tweet was followed up by a second one containing a photo of Zion lacing up a pair of Kyrie Irving’s sneakers by Nike, a change from his previous choice of footwear — Nike’s PG 2.5 — which completely busted open when he made his knee-injuring move within the first minute of the Duke-UNC game on February 20.
Many fans speculated on Zion’s return when the rivals faced off again on March 9 for their regular season-ender, however, as The Inquisitr previously reported, the freshman remained sidelined for the game, and the Tar Heels went on to take another win over the Blue Devils 79-70.
There is no doubt about the impact that the young ball player makes on the Duke basketball team. With an average of 21.6 points per game and 8.8 rebounds, the freshman forward’s absence has certainly been felt by the team, which ended their regular season run with a somewhat disappointing record of 3-3, including both losses to their competitors in Carolina Blue right down the road.
While his highly-anticipated return to the court tonight is no doubt exciting for Duke fans vying for their team to take home the national title, some believe he should hang up his Blue Devils uniform for good so as not to hurt his chances in the upcoming NBA Draft, where Zion is projected to be the number one overall pick.
To those with that mindset, Zion has one thing to say: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
“When I’m out on that rectangle, nothing else matters. It’s just poetry in motion for me,” he said during an interview with NCAA that aired on Thursday morning, CBS Sports reported. “It’s what I love to do.”
“I’m enjoying my college experience,” he continued, before adding that he is “trying to go for that national championship.
Catch Zion’s return with the Duke Blue Devils as they battle it out against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament at 9 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN.