Zion Williamson exits UNC-Duke game after shoe appears to break

The injury occurred during Duke's opening possession.

Zion Williamson
Duke's Zion Williamson falls to the floor with an injury while chasing the ball. –AP Photo/Gerry Broome

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Freshman sensation Zion Williamson left top-ranked Duke’s rivalry game against No. 8 North Carolina 36 seconds in after his shoe appeared to break.

The issue with Williamson’s Nike shoe emerged during the Blue Devils’ opening possession Wednesday night, which ended with him on the floor near the free-throw line. He walked off with a slight limp but under his own power, before heading back to the locker room with no shoes on his feet. Duke announced later in the first half that Williamson would not return to the game.

Williamson, the ACC’s second-leading scorer at 22.4 points per game, has established himself as arguably the most exciting player in college basketball with his array of dunks and once-in-a-generation athleticism.

Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson reacts after falling as his shoe breaks. —Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
North Carolina v Duke
Zion Williamson walks off the court after falling as his shoe breaks. —Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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