NEW YORK (AFP) – Zion Williamson, the expected top pick in June’s NBA Draft, was declared out for Duke University’s game at Syracuse on Saturday, three days after his Nike shoe shredded during a game.
Duke’s athletic department announced on Twitter that the 18-year-old forward would miss the contest while still recovering from a right knee sprain suffered in the early seconds of a loss Wednesday to rival North Carolina.
Nike was in damage control mode after the high-profile star suffered the injury and left a game whose ticket resale prices rivaled those of Super Bowls and whose spectators included such celebrities as Barack Obama and Spike Lee.
Williamson, who stands 6-foot-7 (2.01m), has averaged 22.4 points a game. He was dribbling near the free throw line on his team’s first possession when he planted his left foot and his sneaker blew apart.