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Spartanburg Day’s Zion Williamson named national junior All-America player of the year

Zion Williamson shares a laugh with teammates and coaches while on the bench during the the South Carolina Hoops Festival held at Irmo High School.
Zion Williamson shares a laugh with teammates and coaches while on the bench during the the South Carolina Hoops Festival held at Irmo High School. online@thestate.com

Spartanburg Day’s Zion Williamson was named the MaxPreps Junior All-America player of the year Tuesday.

The team selections were based on team success, individual production, plus local, regional and state honors for the 2016-17 season. College or professional potential, MaxPreps said, was not a primary consideration and players in post-grad or non-scholastic programs were not considered.

LINK: Fresh off a national title, UNC coach Roy Williams shows his ring collection to top recruit Zion Williamson

Williamson, ranked No. 2 nationally in the class of 2018 by ESPN, averaged 37 points, 13 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He led his team to the S.C. Independent Schools state title.

Two N.C. players made honorable mention: Coby White of Wilson Greenfield and Jairus Hamilton of Cannon School in Concord. White, a 6-foot-5 point guard, was named N.C. Gatorade player of the year and has committed to North Carolina.

Last season, White led Greenfield School to a 23-11 record and a N.C. Independent Schools’ 1A semifinal appearance. He averaged 31.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. He was an NCISAA 1A all-state pick and is ranked No. 33 in the recruiting class of 2018 by ESPN.

LINK: How high-scoring point guard Coby White chose Roy Williams and North Carolina

Hamilton, a 6-8 forward, averaged more than 23 points, 7.5 rebounds and five assists for Cannon, which made the N.C. 3A Independent Schools semifinals. Hamilton has more than 20 scholarship offers and was the Charlotte Observer’s regional player of the year. Hamilton is ranked No. 32 nationally by ESPN.

▪ As junior player of the year, Williamson joins past winners like Austin Rivers (Duke/NBA), Jabari Parker (Duke/NBA), Ben Simmons (LSU/NBA) and Jayson Tatum (Duke).

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