Duke Basketball: Zion might be the most popular Blue Devil ever

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Duke Basketball freshman Zion Williamson was already a big name coming into Durham, but his popularity is growing rapidly and he may be the most popular Blue Devil ever.

Zion Williamson has only played one game in a Duke Basketball uniform, but could he already be the most popular player in program history?

I believe that he is and it’s not even close, especially in today’s day and age with social media.

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Duke is a program with a rich history of great players, but they have never had a Zion Williamson.

Even Mike Krzyzewski thinks so.

“Zion is the most unique athlete I’ve coached at Duke,” Krzyzewski recently said on ESPN’s First Take.

That’s something coming from a man who has coached some great athletes over his 39 years at Duke.

The only other Duke players that come to mind when it comes to popularity are Grant Hill and Kyrie Irving.

Hill, who was recently inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, might have been the one if the injuries never occurred. Hill was well on his way to becoming one of the greatest players to ever play the game before ankle injuries unfortunately derailed his career.

Irving is Duke’s most popular player in the NBA right now, but as great as Kyrie is, that is going to change when Williamson is in the league next season. All eyes will be on the 6’7 forward as soon as he begins his career.

Both Hill and Irving are great players and will be considered two of the best 25-50 players of all-time, but neither has gotten the attention that Williamson attracts every time he steps onto the court.

Before Williamson ever committed to Duke back in January of 2018, he was already one of the most, if not the most, hyped high school basketball players since LeBron James back in 2002.

You could make an argument that the dunking sensation was one of the most popular basketball players in the country before he ever stepped foot on Duke’s campus.

There seemed to be a viral video of his dunks and chase-down blocks after every single game he played in high school and his highlights were all over SportsCenter.

And it’s not often you see famous rappers like Drake wearing a high school basketball player’s uniform during a show.

The country got its first glimpse of Zion Tuesday night and he did not disappoint. He quickly proved that he isn’t just a dunker, flashing his passing, rebounding, and even shooting skills.

Williamson proved that he can do it all against Kentucky, so the hype is even bigger now and will continue to grow, as everybody will be watching this Duke team to see what Williamson does next.

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If Williamson can stay healthy, then he’s on his way to being not only the most popular Duke player in program history but one of the most popular players to ever play the game.