May 13, 2020
Lawsuit seeks Zion Williamson to admit family was paid for his Duke tenure

Former Duke star basketball forward and current NBA rookie Zion Williamson is caught in the middle of a lawsuit for receiving financial benefits from the Blue Devils, as well as Nike and Adidas.

According to a story from The Washington Post, the lawsuit was filed by attorneys for Prime Sports Marketing President Gina Smith and aims to establish a depiction of Williamson and his family’s possible dealings with Duke University and the two athletic apparel giants while he was still in his South Carolina high school.

williamson
Photo: Erik Drost / Creative Commons

Williamson was last year’s No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, and had previously signed with Prime Sports before joining Creative Artists Agency a month later.

Williamson filed suit against Smith and Prime Sports, alleging Smith’s contract with him did not including language mandated by North Carolina law and meant to protect student-athletes from throwing away their college eligibility. Smith has also filed a $100 million lawsuit against Williamson in Dade County, Florida, accusing him and CAA of a number of offenses, including breach of contract and fraud.

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Among the requests for admission includes:

  • “Admit that you knew that Sharonda Sampson (Williamson’s mother) demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons on behalf of Nike (directly and/or indirectly) to influence you to attend Duke University to play basketball.”
  • “Admit that before you became a student at Duke University, you knew that Lee Anderson (Williamson’s stepfather) demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Adidas (directly and/or indirectly) to influence you to wear Adidas shoes.”
  • “Admit that before you became a student at Duke University, you knew that Sharonda Sampson demanded and received gifts and/or other benefits from persons on behalf of Adidas (directly and/or indirectly) to influence you to attend a college that endorsed Adidas shoes.”

To read the full story on the latest college sports pay-for-play lawsuit from The Washington Post, click here. 






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