New Orleans Aquarium Names Baby Penguin After Pelicans' Zion Williamson

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 12: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings on March 12, 2020 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Zion Williamson has made such an impact on the city of New Orleans that he was the inspiration for the naming of a baby penguin born at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. 

The Audubon Nature Institute shared pictures of the newborn with a message to the Pelicans' rookie sensation:

Audubon Nature Institute @AudubonNature

Hey @Zionwilliamson and @PelicansNBA, meet Zion! During these challenging times, you've embraced the community with a truly remarkable act of generosity. Let us know when you want to take your little brother and meet your namesake! https://t.co/pvVh0Y1l2A

Per the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Zion was hatched on Feb. 17 after a 39-day incubation period and is the offspring of mother Hubig and father Ocio. 

The aquarium cited Williamson's "act of generosity" as one of the reasons for naming the penguin after him. The 19-year-old pledged to cover salaries of workers at the Smoothie King Center for 30 days after the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite a delayed start to his NBA career due to a torn meniscus, Williamson looked like a superstar in the 19 games before the season was suspended. He is averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game with a 58.9 shooting percentage.