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After The Onion article, is Zion Williamson part of 'In the Heights?'

Zion Williamson poses with "In the Heights" executive producer Shaina Lubliner and other members of the cast.

As the projected number one NBA draft pick this year, Zion Williamson’s head may be in the game, but his heart’s in the song.

Shaina Lubliner, executive producer for Hoof ‘n’ Horn’s spring show “In the Heights,” posted a photo Thursday of Williamson with members of the cast. The caption reads, “Zion is ready for opening night! Much love to the Onion.” 

The Onion reference, is to the March 22 article “Zion Williamson in Panic After Realizing Game Falls on Same Night at Theater Club Production.” 

So will Williamson be the next Troy Bolton? Not quite, Lubliner said. 

Lubliner met Williamson in a class earlier this semester, and invited him to audition for Hoof ‘n’ Horn.

“He was really busy back then with basketball, but he was very supportive of the production,” Lubliner wrote in a message. 

When The Onion's article came out, Lubliner immediately emailed it to her class. When he came into class Thursday—the opening night for the production—Lubliner plucked up the courage to ask for a picture. The class included four other Hoof ‘n’ Horn cast members, all of whom were wearing their “In the Heights” shirts for its opening night. 

“I told him [The Onion article] was the best thing to ever happen to our organization and he laughed," Lubliner said.

Although it’s a satirical publication, The Onion did get many facts right, like Duke’s upcoming game against North Dakota State at the time and the fact that Hoof ‘n’ Horn really is putting on “In the Heights” as its spring musical. 

“We were all shocked and delighted that they got the production right, including naming one of the leading characters,”  Lubliner wrote. “I am super impressed with the Onion. Clearly, someone is doing their research!”

In the fictional Onion article, Williamson is satirically quoted saying, “Oh man, oh man, I can’t believe this is happening. I don’t wanna miss the game, but that club is my passion, and I made a promise to this cast.” He bemoaned that his understudy could not possibly handle his role of Graffiti Pete. 

“In the Heights” opens tonight and tickets have already sold out. But a walk-up line — something familiar to many Duke basketball fans — will be held an hour before each performance.