COLUMBIA, S.C. — Zion Williamson rolled into town on Tuesday night and the 5-star small forward didn’t disappoint.
The No. 2-ranked overall prospect in the Class of 2018 scored 53 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School’s 73-53 win against Gray Collegiate Academy (Columbia, S.C.).
South Carolina coach Frank Martin, Clemson coach Brad Brownell and North Carolina coach Roy Williams were joined by assistants from their respective staffs for Williamson’s record-breaking performance on the opening night of the Chick-fil-A Classic at Richland Northeast High School.
“I don’t really pay attention to who’s on the sideline,” Williamson said. “I’m just going out there to kill it anyway.”
Williamson dominated a team that featured a pair of 5-star prospects, both of whom are ranked at the top of their respective classes — 2017 North Carolina signee Jalek Felton, the top overall 2017 and 2019 Juwan Gary.
Williams (6-7, 220) wowed the capacity crowd with an explosive display of dunks, strong rebounds, nifty passes and slick ball-handling. His night on the offensive end was efficient, though he missed more free throws (4) than field goals (3), all of which were behind the 3-point line.
On the recruiting trail
Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas — college basketball’s blue bloods — are in hot pursuit of Williamson, but the two in-state schools are currently making a stronger push than the rest of the field.
South Carolina hosted him for a visit earlier this school year.
“I have a really good relationship with them,” Williamson said. “We talk on a daily basis.”
Clemson was in on the ground level with Williamson and the Tigers have hosted him for several visits since his freshman year, more than any other school. They’ve got a legit shot, too. However, Duke could be the team to beat.
In fact, the Blue Devils’ 62 percent reading on the 247Sports Crystal Ball would be higher if this observer had any say. Exactly when anyone knows for sure is still up in the air.
“I’m enjoying the process,” Williamson said. “I’m enjoying it.”
Unless otherwise indicated, all rankings and ratings are based on the 247Sports composite.