NBA rookies Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are two of the most promising young players in the league. They were drafted with the first and second picks of the 2019 draft, respectively. The pair has already proven in their young careers, that the hype was real, and are the frontrunners to win the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
But years before they would be the top two prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson and Morant were just a couple of small town kids playing on the same AAU team called the South Carolina Hornets. The two grew up in South Carolina and lived only an hour away from each other.
While that’s already a pretty crazy coincidence, what’s even crazier is that Williamson and Morant were just role players on the team.
“Me and Ja were like the role players,” Williamson explained on teammate JJ Redick’s podcast. “What people don’t know is there’s a dude who goes to Ole Miss now. Devontae Shuler. In South Carolina, he was the guy. I remember I used to play with him. I’m playing up an age group. I’m like, ‘Man this dude is going coast-to-coast finishing. Pulling up for transition 3s like he’s Curry. I’m like, ‘I’m just a ninth grader.’ He was like top 30 in the nation. A certified bucket.”
As you know, Williamson would eventually become one of the most hyped prospects of all time, after an electrifying season at Duke and Morant would go on to have a dominant sophomore season at Murray State.
It’s a small world.