Zion Williamson named to his first NBA All-Star team

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has been named to the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, the league announced on Tuesday.

The distinction is the first of Williamson’s career, and he becomes just the 10th player in NBA history to be named an All-Star by age 20, joining Luka Dončić, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson, and will be the fourth youngest player to compete in the All-Star Game behind Bryant, James and Johnson.

In 29 games so far this season, Williamson is averaging 25.1 points (14th in NBA), 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.8 minutes per contest. Williamson’s field goal percentage (.616) is ranked fifth in the NBA, and the Duke University product holds the highest field goal percentage among the league’s top 71 ranked scorers. Additionally, Williamson is one of just two players in the NBA to be averaging at least 25 points on 55-percent shooting from the field, 35-percent from three-point range and 70-percent from the free throw line, joining Denver’s Nikola Jokić. Of his 25.1 points, Williamson is averaging a league leading 18.8 points in the paint.

Williamson was selected to the All-Star Game as a reserve, which was voted on by the head coaches of the Western Conference, who voted for seven players in his conference – two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at any position.  The head coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Joining Williamson as Western Conference reserves are Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Phoenix’s Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis.

The All-Star Game rosters will be determined through the NBA All-Star Draft, where team captains Kevin Durant of the Nets and LeBron James of the Lakers will select from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.  TNT will air the NBA All-Star Draft on Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m. CST.

The 70th NBA All-Star Game will be played Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta and televised by TNT as part of NBA All-Star 2021, which will take place on one night.

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