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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.

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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.