UK Men's Basketball

Calipari offers scholarship to high school basketball sensation Zion Williamson

Scout.com ranks Zion Williamson as the No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2018.
Scout.com ranks Zion Williamson as the No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2018. Under Armour

Five-star basketball recruit Zion Williamson has earned a scholarship offer from Kentucky.

UK Coach John Calipari extended the offer during a visit with Williamson on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward from Spartanburg, S.C. has become a YouTube sensation this season with his ridiculous dunks and powerful style of play. His highlights have been featured prominently on ESPN SportsCenter, and celebrity-rapper-turned-UK-fan Drake has been photographed wearing his high school jersey.

247Sports ranks Williamson as the No. 1 overall prospect in the recruiting class of 2018. Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN all rank him as the No. 2 prospect in the class, behind only Marvin Bagley, another major UK recruiting target.

“When you talk about Zion Williamson, you have to talk about his freak athleticism,” said Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. “He’s one of the most unique players that I’ve evaluated. You look at him and you don’t see a guy that can jump out of the gym. He’s got this kind of thick, overdeveloped frame. But he can. And he’s a really good rebounder. He’s a good passer. He impacts the game in a couple different ways.

“He’s going to have to improve his shooting and ball handling, but he’s a unique player with some impressive physical gifts.”

UK hosted Williamson for an unofficial visit in late January, when he was on campus for the Wildcats’ game against Kansas in Rupp Arena.

Williamson averaged 36.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.5 blocked shots per game this season, scoring 51 points while leading his team to a second consecutive state championship last month.

After that game, he told GoUpstate.com that he will be staying at Spartanburg Day School for his senior season, instead of playing a year at a prep school powerhouse.

“It’s perfect knowing that I could finish off my senior year with possibly three rings,” he said. Williamson plays his summer ball on the Adidas circuit.

Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Louisville, Arizona and UCLA are just a few of the schools that have already extended scholarship offers.

Williamson has said that he will wait until after his senior season before making a college commitment.

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