Could Zion Williamson Play For Team USA Before Being A Part Of The NBA

Zion Williamson just finished one of the most exciting freshman seasons in the history of college basketball. The South Carolina native averaged 22.6 points per game on 68 percent shooting, wowing fans and NBA scouts alike with his explosiveness and speed on the court. His athletic accomplishments at Duke not only impressed NBA scouts, but also Team USA, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Team USA has not yet talked to Williamson about being a member for the World Cup because he does not yet have an agent to represent him. While he is the clear favorite to be the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson has not officially declared.

Williamson’s selection to the World Cup team could take away valuable time in training camp as the World Cup starts on August 31.

It might be crazy to bring a college kid onto Team USA, but Anthony Davis played in the 2012 Olympics after leading the Kentucky Wildcats to their eighth championship. Christian Laettner was part of the 1992 Dream Team after having a storied college career at Duke. Before the 1992 Olympics, Team USA only used college players for basketball events across the world as the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) did not allow NBA players at their events.

Despite losing to Michigan State in the Elite Eight, Williamson had one of the most accomplished freshman seasons in recent memory. He won the ACC Player of the Year, Freshman of The Year, Sporting News Player of the Year and Conference Tournament Player of the Year. He averaged 26 points per game in the NCAA Tournament and eclipsed the 20 point mark in nine of his final 10 games. However, he struggled at the free throw line during the tournament, going 7-15 in four games.

Williamson will have a busy summer as he will most likely be the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and play in the NBA Summer League. He could also be the first college player to play for Team USA since Anthony Davis, but nothing has been decided so far.