We knew that taking a charge from Zion Williamson hurts any human—just ask Syracuse forward Marek Dolzezaj.

But, as Williamson proved earlier when he broke through his shoe Feb. 21 against North Carolina, inanimate objects are not immune to the 285-pound freshman's destruction.

Like every other evening where Duke classes are in session, a group of students played pickup basketball at Brodie Recreation Center. Except instead of the usual crowd of washed up former JV players and those who never formally played past the fifth grade rec league, Williamson was among the ballers at Brodie April 3, just two days after his squad was ousted from the NCAA tournament by Michigan State. 

Williamson rose up to throw down a powerful slam in that pickup game, and the hoop never recovered. On April 19, the backboard that Williamson shook to its core two weeks earlier looked entirely broken, with the glass removed from its metal support beams. 

Grant Haskins


Without further ado, let's take a look at what Zion did to that poor, poor backboard on Duke's freshman campus:


Zion throws an alley-oop to himself off the backboard, before ferociously slamming it home, nearly bringing down the hoop.

I sincerely doubt that the normal pickup crowd at Brodie has to worry about disobeying the "NO DUNKING" warning printed on the glass—my plodding 5-foot-10 self certainly included—but the likely No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft clearly pushes the backboard to its limit.

On the morning of April 8, the same Brodie hoop that narrowly survived Zion's vicious attack was blocked off with caution tape, accompanied by a "ZION WAS HERE..." sign. 


Jonathan Browning


Although we never saw any Shaq-esque glass-shattering dunks out of Zion this year, the newly crowned AP and Naismith Player of the Year certainly made it known that backboards are no friends of his.

So, Zion, as you prepare for the NBA, just know that you have a place on any pickup team that I'm a part of. Plus, I promise our team will feed you the ball in the final minutes of tight games!