Zion Williamson is a six-foot, seven-inch power forward who weighs 272 pounds, and he owes everything he has to his mom.
On June 20, 18-year-old Williamson went from being the star basketball player at Duke University to the first pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Now he’s expected to be the next star of the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, those impressive feats aren’t what people are talking about right now. Instead, they are talking about Williamson’s reaction to being picked number one overall.
In an interview with ESPN, Williamson quickly became overcome with emotions as he realized his dream since he was five years old just came true:
“I don’t know what to say. I didn’t think I would be in this position.”
Williamson then took the time to make sure everybody knew he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for his mom’s sacrifices:
“My mom sacrificed a lot for me. I wouldn’t be here without my mom. She did everything for me. I just want to thank her.”
As ESPN reports, Williamson’s mom Sharonda Sampson was his coach until he was 14 years old and he to this day the 18-year-old still calls her the “toughest coach he ever had”:
“She put her dreams aside for mine. She always looked out for her family before herself.”
Unable to speak through his tears, Sharonda added that the two of them have worked for this exact moment for the last 13 years and “to watch his hard work pay off,” she couldn’t be happier for her son.
“I’ve seen somebody who believes in the process, who put in the work and who put those naysayers aside and just continued to do what we asked and continued to believe in the process. And because of that, we are here today.”
And even after shaking NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand, he said the fact that his wildest dream just came true still didn’t feel real.
“I just thank God for it.”