Duke Blue Devils lose star player to shoe accident

As you may have seen on social media or television, heard on the radio, read in the newspaper, or seen on just about every other possible news outlet over the past few days, Zion Williamson, a forward for the Duke University basketball team, suffered an injury in a game against UNC Wednesday after he tore through his Nike shoe when planting his left foot. Though the right knee sprain was a minor injury and Zion should only be sidelined for only a few games as a result, the injury has brought up a bigger debate about draft rules and regulations that have been put in place in recent years along with the debate about college players being paid. Williamson, a projected number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft, was a high school phenom that could quite easily have been drafted out of high school to play in the NBA. Instead, due to the “One and Done” Rule put in place in 2006 that requires players to be at least 19 years of age and a year out of high school to be drafted, Zion is playing at Duke this year. Playing at Duke, he is risking injury as he did Wednesday night and putting his NBA contract on the line to play a salary free year for the NCAA, who brings in over $1 billion dollars yearly in ticket sales, licensing, and memorabilia sales. To put this draft night pay day into perspective, 2018 NBA Draft first pick Deandre Ayton can be used as an example. He signed a 2 year, 17.7 million dollar contract with the Phoenix Suns this past year. This money pales in comparison to the shoe deal from companies like Nike that such a coveted rookie would be offered. Many have dubbed Zion the best young player since Lebron James, and if Nike feels the same way then he could expect a contract similar to his, which pays Lebron over $1 billion dollars over the course of his career and after. Needless to say, Zion has a bright future ahead as long as he can make it to draft night healthy.

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