Duke's Zion Williamson: 'I Kind of Hate Being Classified as a Dunker'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2019

Duke's Zion Williamson (1) brings the ball up court against Wake Forest during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson said Tuesday that he wants to be viewed as an all-around threat rather than merely a dunker.

According to ESPN.com's David M. Hale, Williamson's comments came after a strong performance in an 87-65 win over Wake Forest:

"I kind of hate being classified as a dunker. 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 enjoyed perhaps his best game of the season Tuesday with 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block.

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Williamson became the second Division I player in the past 20 years to post a line with 30 points, 10 boards, five assists, four steals and 80 percent shooting from the field, joining former LSU and current Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons.

Williamson also sunk a trio of three-pointers after making just four all season entering Tuesday's game.

Krzyzewski liked what he saw out of Williamson and believes his freshman superstar can do it all, according to Hale: "I have confidence in him doing everything. If I don't, there's something wrong with me. He's a complete player."

While highlight-reel dunks will always draw fans to Williamson, he showed Tuesday that he can beat the opposition in myriad ways.

By virtue of Williamson's performance, the top-ranked Blue Devils improved to 13-1 on the season with their only loss coming to Gonzaga in November.

A bevy of talented freshmen have contributed to Duke's dominant start, but with averages of 20.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.9 blocks per game, Williamson may be the front-runner to be named the top player in college basketball this season.

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