Zion Williamson, the number two overall player in the class of 2018, has made quite the name for himself this past season. He has been on numerous YouTube highlight reels and dropped 51 points in a South Carolina state championship game. Mobs of fans stand in line at his games waiting to get a glimpse of what some are saying is the “next LeBron James.” Rapper Drake has even posted an Instagram photo of himself wearing a Zion Williamson Spartanburg Day High School jersey.
The kid is famous and still has another year of high school basketball to play. Williamson is getting recruited by some of the top college programs in the country. Everyone from Roy Williams to Coach K has made the trip to Spartanburg, South Carolina to see Zion and his high-flying act up close and personal. One of the other programs that Zion is considering, the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Tracking Zion Williamson – the Spartanburg Day phenom is apparently on his way to NYC. pic.twitter.com/9Vgl8672ua
— Reggie Anderson (@ReggieWLTX) March 24, 2017
The South Carolina Gamecock men’s basketball team is in the midst of the best season in program history. Last night they beat a very good Baylor squad in the NCAA tournament by 20 points to advance to the Elite Eight. South Carolina had not won a game in the tournament since 1973 and now they’re just one win away from making a trip to the final four. They have definitely become the darlings of the tournament after previously dispatching a top-seeded Duke team last weekend in the second round of the tournament.
The South Carolina basketball team definitely became the darlings of the tournament after previously dispatching a top-seeded Duke team last weekend in the second round of the tournament. They have been winning mainly because of their tenacious defense that is easily one of the best in the nation. South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is in familiar territory because this is the second basketball program he has coached to an Elite Eight. He led the Kansas State Wildcats to that distinction in 2010.
— NBA_Mixes (@NBA_Mixes) March 22, 2017
What the South Carolina Gamecocks basketball team has been able to do in the tournament has without a doubt boosted their national profile and will allow them to attract more top-ranked recruits to the program. The state of South Carolina has produced several top tier basketball talents in recent years but they almost always decide to go to other major college basketball programs in different states. It has been a major problem for teams like the Gamecocks to keep their homegrown talent in-house but all of that is about to change drastically with how well the South Carolina basketball team has been performing.
Zion Williamson was allegedly at the South Carolina versus Baylor game last night in Madison Square Garden and the Gamecock fans let him know how they felt. Chants of “We want Zion! We want Zion!” rained down from the stands as the South Carolina Gamecocks were putting the finishing touches on the game and sending Baylor University home packing. This type of performance was sure to catch Zion’s attention as he prepares for his senior year of high school and decides which college he will attend the following year.
Zion Williamson and his point guard literally had to stay in the whole game every game to win state because look at there bench pic.twitter.com/Iyh6ctu8IV
— Andy (@andy_foley_7) March 15, 2017
South Carolina has a legitimate shot at the national championship this year and to be able to land a recruit like Williamson would give them instant credibility for years to come. More elite homegrown talent would likely follow suit allowing the Gamecocks to be national contenders every year because of strong recruiting classes.
This type of performance was sure to catch Zion Williamson’s attention as he prepares for his senior year of high school and decides which college he will attend the following year. South Carolina has a legitimate shot at the national championship this year and to be able to land a recruit like Williamson would give them instant credibility for years to come.
Class of 18 AAU Preview (2016 Stats)
League: 2016 17U Adidas Uprising
Team: Game Elite
2P% 66.5% pic.twitter.com/pqjxsXr6m5
— Open Look Analytics (@OLAnalytics) March 14, 2017
More elite homegrown talent would likely follow suit allowing the South Carolina Gamecocks basketball team to be national contenders every year because of strong recruiting classes. The ripple effect of the team making it so far in the tournament will be tremendous and we may have to get used to seeing the garnet and black making deep postseason runs on a yearly basis. One thing is for sure, Zion Williamson has taken notice and that’s almost as big a deal as the South Carolina Gamecocks tournament winning streak.
Not only is Zion Williamson looking at the South Carolina Gamecocks as a potential landing place after high school, he’s already made it clear that his local college basketball team is his preference. Now that South Carolina basketball is making a name for itself, Zion probably will end up playing for the Gamecocks and that’s where he needs to be.
[Featured Image by Gregory Payan/AP Images]