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Duke star Zion Williamson to enter 2019 NBA Draft

By
Connor Grott
Zion Williamson of Duke University looks at his award during ceremonies at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Monday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Zion Williamson of Duke University looks at his award during ceremonies at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Monday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

April 15 (UPI) -- Duke freshman phenom Zion Williamson will enter the 2019 NBA Draft after one season with the Blue Devils.

Williamson announced his decision on social media Monday, saying his time at the school had been the "best year" of his life.

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"Thank you for making this season a dream for me," Williamson said. "I want to thank God, coach [Mike Krzyzewski], the assistant coaches, my family, my teammates and all the friends I made at Duke. Thank you for making this year the best year of my life. I don't think I can put it into words of how special this year was.

"I will pursue my next dream and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. Thank you, Duke. This has been the best year of my life."

RELATED Duke Blue Devils freshman Cam Reddish to enter 2019 NBA Draft

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward captivated the college basketball world with his highlight-reel dunks and his natural skill at both ends of the court. He led the Blue Devils to the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Michigan State eliminated Duke in the Elite Eight.

RELATED March Madness: Duke freshman Tre Jones to skip NBA draft, return next season

Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this season. The 18-year-old star ranked second in the country in shooting percentage (68 percent). He earned the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award following his breakout year.

Williamson in considered the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in the upcoming draft. The NBA holds its draft lottery May 14 to determine the team that will select the standout forward. The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers have the best odds to secure the top pick, followed by the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.

Williamson's teammates, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, are also headed to the pros. Reddish and Barrett declared for the draft last week. Freshman point guard Tre Jones said he will return to the school for his sophomore campaign.

RELATED Duke freshman guard R.J. Barrett enters the NBA Draft

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