Zion dunks on kids and lightheartedly ‘talks trash’ at YMCA

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 2:45 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Imagine being a kid and playing pickup basketball at a local community center with your friends and bonified NBA superstar shows up.

That’s what happened earlier this week at the Dryades YMCA.

The kids at Dryades were ‘taken to school’ by Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson who challenged everyone in the gym to take a shot at guarding the 6′6 forward who is one of the elite finishers in the NBA. With his signature combination of size and speed, all the kids could do was throw their hands up as they struggled to stay in front of Zion.

It’s safe to say that Zion, spending time with the youth of New Orleans, is looking to make real connections with communities in the city. Since he was drafted in 2019, interruptions have kept him from having experiences off the court in the Big Easy. He began his rookie season injured and after he got back onto the court, COVID-19 interrupted all major events, causing the NBA to finish the season in a bubble format in Orlando. During his historic 2020-21 campaign, most of it unfolded in games fans weren’t allowed to attend due to CDC-recommended restrictions. Last season, Zion was hurt again and spent most of his time rehabbing at Nike facilities in Portland.

But in recent months, looking like a character straight out of the MCU, has shown up on local courts, like he did at Lakeview Park by Delgado Community College, to shoot around with local kids.

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Zion has even held youth workshops, like the one earlier in June, aimed at enriching youth and promoting an end to city violence.

In recent months, Zion has given kids in New Orleans memories they’ll have for a lifetime. This goes a long way in establishing a long-term relationship, which is something Zion may be preparing for becoming official very soon.

On Thursday (June 30) at 5 p.m., Zion will become eligible for a rookie contract max extension worth $180 million for 5 years.

RELATED STORY Zion rising: Signing rookie extension could result in Pelicans’ golden era

While the team and Zion have details to hammer out, likely implementing protections related to injury history, it seems that a long-term extension is likely to be finalized soon.

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