The attorney that represents Zion Williamson’s former marketing representative, as well as her company, has asked the New Orleans Pelicans superstar to attest to his stepfather and mother making some demands and also received money, gifts including other benefits from representatives of Nike and Adidas and also from other people. They are associates of Duke to influence him into signing with the Blue Devils and wear Adidas and Nike products.
“Even though NBA star Zion Williamson wishes he would’ve stayed at Duke, he already found his true calling.”
After playing one season at Duke in the 2019 NBA draft, the Pelicans star Williamson became No.1 pick. During the same period, he had Prime sports, and Gina Ford slammed with a suit for attempting to bring his marketing agreement with her company to an end in June.
According to Zion Williamson’s attorneys, the contract was breaching the North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act mainly because Prime sports is not exactly approved by the NBA players association and is also not a registered athlete agent in Florida or North Carolina. In the same month, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), two of its staff as well as Zion Williamson were sued by Ford and Prime sports in a Florida court, claiming that Creative Artists Agency (CAA) interfered in a deal between Prime Sports and Williamson and also that he went against a five-year contract they had.
The lawsuit was for $100 million in punitive damages. Last week, according to the filing with Miami-Dade county court, Ford’s attorneys put it to Zion Williamson to admit to the validity of several statements, some of which included;
- Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Sampson, and his stepfather Lee Anderson “demanded and received gifts and economic benefits from persons acting on behalf of Duke University (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball.”
- Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Sampson, and his stepfather Lee Anderson “demanded and received gifts, money, and/or other benefits from persons on behalf of Nike (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball.”
- Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Sampson and his stepfather Lee Anderson “demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Adidas (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to wear Adidas shoes” and to “influence [Williamson] to attend a college that endorsed Adidas shoes.”
- Zion Williamson, before he became a student at Duke, “or person(s) acting on [his] behalf (including but not limited to Sharonda Sampson and Lee Anderson) accepted benefits from an NCAA-certified agent that are not expressly permitted by the NCAA legislation” between 1 January 2014 and 14 April 2019.
The legal battle between Zion and Gina Ford
Gina Ford’s Attorneys, in a different filing last week, ask basketball player Zion Williamson to reveal both his address and that of his parents while he was in Duke. The interrogatories also demanded the names of the landlords and monthly rent payments. Requests for admissions are a way that gives one party the power to request that the other side deny or admit the truth of a given statement under oath in civil cases.
A United States District Court judge in North Carolina, in April, had Ford’s motion to dismiss Zion Williamson’s complaint against her denied. In December, a Florida state court judge also had the defendants combined motion to dismiss Gina Ford’s and Prime sports marketing’s complain denied.
In New York, during a federal criminal trial in October 2018, which involved three men that were convicted for what they did to encourage the pay-for-play schemes that had high-profile recruits sent to Adidas-sponsored schools, a defense attorney made attempts to bring up wiretap recordings, where there was a discussion between Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend and ex Adidas consultant Merl Code on what it would take to have Zion Williamson sign with the Jayhawks.
The transcript of the call was read by defense attorney Mark Moore in court, and according to it, Townsend told code, “Hey, but between you and me, you know, [Anderson] asked about some stuff. Do you know? And I said, ‘Well, we’ll talk about that after you decide.’
“And then Mr. Code says: ‘I know what he’s asking for,'” Moore continued. “… ‘He’s asking for opportunities from a technical perspective. He’s asking for money in the pocket. And he’s asking for housing for him and the family.’
“And they go on to talk. And Mr. Townsend says: ‘So I’ve got to try to work and figure out away. Because if that’s what it takes to get him for ten months, we’re going to have to do it some way.”
At the time, Kevin White, who is an athletics director, said that Duke officials worked with ACC and NCAA to certify Williamson’s eligibility. According to Michael Avenatti, Williamson’s mother allegedly received payment from Nike for consulting services at the time her son was a top school recruit.