Top NBA prospect misses fifth game after shoe mishap


Washington (AFP)

Duke University star Zion Williamson, among this year's top NBA Draft prospects, missed his fifth game in a row Saturday due to injury after his Nike shoe blew apart in a game.

The 18-year-old forward was announced as not playing in Duke's season finale Saturday against arch rival North Carolina due to a right knee sprain.

Williamson suffered the injury last month when he planted his foot and his sneaker blew apart in the opening minute of a game against North Carolina.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, the former US Olympic gold medal coach, said Thursday the freshman had given "a really good workout" but had suggested that it was unlikely Williamson would suit up despite a full week of workouts.

Krzyzewski says he expects Williamson to return for next week's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, a prelude to the "March Madness" national championship tournament that begins March 19.

Duke is 26-4 this season but has gone 3-2 since Williamson was sidelined.

Williamson is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds and is a solid candidate to become the top pick in June's NBA Draft.