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Zion Williamson has 'nothing but respect' for 8th-grade opponent who tried to guard him in funny high school video

INSIDER logoINSIDER 3/3/2021 insider@insider.com (Tyler Lauletta)
a woman standing in front of a crowd: Zion Williamson. HoopDiamond / YouTube © Provided by INSIDER Zion Williamson. HoopDiamond / YouTube
  • Zion Williamson has been unstoppable for some time.
  • One brave 8th grader once did all he could to stop him.
  • Williamson said he has "nothing but respect" for his former opponent.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Zion Williamson is a tough man to guard.

Through his unreal season at Duke, Williamson wowed fans with monster dunks and incredible defensive feats that seemed to defy logic. In his two seasons as a pro, Williamson has already found ways to translate his dominance to the NBA.

But before his days at Duke, Williamson was an even more difficult mismatch for opponents - a fact often shown by a viral video of his earlier playing days.

In the widely shared video, Williamson is marked by a much smaller opponent, who claps and hypes his teammates up. Despite the daunting task ahead of him, the defender, Bryson Bishop, is all confidence.

Seconds into the play, he fouls Williamson.

Replay Video

"I was nervous," Bishop told The Undefeated in 2019. "I had watched all the highlight tapes, and you don't get to see a big guy like him every day. I was clapping to hype myself up."

"You stand next to him, and you realize how small you actually are standing next to someone his size."

While Williamson brushed off Bishop in the video, as a guest on JJ Redick's "The Old Man and the Three" podcast, Williamson said he had "nothing but respect" for his young opponent.

"His name is Bryson Bishop, and man, I will never forget that," Williamson said.

Williamson said that his team was up big in the fourth quarter when the video was shot. "We come out of a timeout, and he starts walking over to me. I'm like, no way, you're not about to do this. And he comes over, and he starts [clapping]."

"He fouled me but, what people don't know, I have a lot of respect for that," Williamson said. "Because his teammates were so out of it, he was just trying to give them energy. And for him to be the one to come over, I got nothing but respect for him for doing that."

Even today, marking Williamson is still a difficult task. But for those brave enough to do it back in high school, Williamson was an entirely different problem.

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