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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Weighs In On Zion Williamson

February 22, 2019

The nation saw Duke star Zion Williamson bust through his Nike shoe on Wednesday night against North Carolina. Williamson left the game with a knee injury, which was determined to be a Grade 1 knee sprain and will be listed day-to-day. 

In the frenzy following the game, it was found out that Williamson has an $8 million insurance policy which would kick in if he fell past No. 16 in the draft due to injury.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey spoke on Thursday about the speculation of Williamson potentially shutting it down and sitting out the rest of the year.  

“The Zion Williamson thing has been unbelievable for college basketball,” stated Brey. “He has people turning on regular season games. If he doesn’t play in the NCAA Tournament, it’s a big letdown for our biggest spectacle.” 

Brey admitted he wouldn’t blame Williamson if he was cautious and shut it down as he has millions of dollars on the line.

“I see it both ways now,” explained Brey. “Five years ago, I would have been about coming back and finishing for your team. Given the business side of this, I had some guys make some money playing the game, I can see why families would shut it down.”

Now, Brey wasn’t advocating for Williamson to shut it down as the Duke star has gained his respect for what he’s done this season on and off the floor. 

“We know he’s a freak of nature,” Brey said. “People love his personality. He’s handled everything with grace. He’s a good teammate and he plays with class on the court. I would think he wants to come back and compete. 

“I don’t know him. We didn’t recruit him, but I look at him and think he’d want to play in the NCAA Tournament.”

Williamson will have a decision to make in the coming days, but it’s clear Brey has an admiration for him as he’s handled his business the right way. 

“It’s a great story,” said Brey. “There are the LeBron (James) comparisons and they are very valid. When you’re a phenom at age 11, then you handle it with grace your whole life, that’s pretty good. I got the utmost respect (for him) and for college basketball, I hope he comes back. He’s been a shot in the arm.” 

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