Zion Williamson’s Scary Athleticism Came After Gaining 100 Pounds Over Two Years In High School

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Putting Zion Williamson in the conversation for the best college basketball players in recent memory might be a bit premature, but it’s not up for debate that the sport hasn’t seen an athlete quite like him in some time, if ever. His mix of skill, power, and athleticism is unique, and putting all of that into a 6’7, 285 pound frame has turned Williamson into must-see television.

As it turns out, Williamson credits this to an insane two-year growth spurt that happened during his high school career. The potential No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft sat down with Devin Gordon of GQ to talk all things ball, and revealed that between his freshman and junior years of high school, he went from a tall-but-skinny teenager to a physical marvel.

Williamson says he gained 100 pounds over that time, and while that happened, he realized that he was able to do things athletically that he had never been able to do before.

Via GQ:

When did you realize you were unusually big?
I’m gonna say…my…my junior year.

Really? That late?
I didn’t pick up all this weight until junior year. Freshman year, I was small. I was 6-3, 175—like, I was small. And over the course of about two years I picked up a hundred pounds. I mean, I wouldn’t look at myself and go, Wow, I’m 250! I wouldn’t know I was 250 until I stepped on the scale, and then I’m like, Oh. I’m 250? I don’t feel 250. I don’t feel slow. Like, with all that weight just came more athleticism and finding myself able to do new things. People always say you have to grow into your body, but for me, it wasn’t even growing into my body—the more weight came, it didn’t phase me. It made me faster, stronger. It helped me become a more versatile player.

Williamson’s growth spurt is precisely the reason he’s such a unique athlete — getting faster and stronger after bulking up like this isn’t something everyone can do, and fortunately for people who like highlight reel dunks and blocks, Williamson was able to do just that.