Duke basketball: Four benefits Zion Williamson clearly took from Coach K

Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Duke basketball
Duke basketball family member Zion Williamson (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Four benefits Zion Williamson clearly took from Duke basketball: FAMILY

Mike Krzyzewski mails birthday cards and notes of remembrance even to his Blue Devils of yesteryear who are now in their 50s. His staff is full of his former players. His wife of 51 years, Mickie, has embraced a motherly role for all who have laced ’em up for her husband. Their three daughters have each added to the familial atmosphere in one way or another. Oh, and nowadays his grandson, Michael Savarino, is a member of the program as a rising sophomore walk-on.

And unlike his counterpart eight miles down Tobacco Road, Krzyzewski has never had to witness one of his past champs publicly blast his character (see: ex-Tar Heel Ty Lawson vs. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams).

ALSO READ: 15 programs who hate Coach K’s success

As a one-and-done collegian two seasons ago, Zion Williamson proudly wore the “FAMILY” shirt during warmups. Like so many other recruits who have passed through Durham over the past four decades, the personable power forward repeatedly spoke about the tight-knit bonds between current and former Blue Devils, which Coach K continually strengthens by designating this Duke basketball togetherness as a top priority. Take a look:

Heck, even if the Zion-related allegations “hanging over the program” one day prove valid, resulting in major violations and the banishing of both the Williamson and Krzyzewski families from the Blue Devil household forever — like that would ever happen — there’s no doubt the three-time Naismith Coach of the Year and 2018-19 Naismith Player of the Year would still keep their friendship intact. Yup, it’s a lifetime benefit to play for a man who always has one’s back.