New Orleans’ Zion Williamson Criticized after Donating Gear to Prominent Private High School – Coach Responds
A member of the New Orleans Pelicans is being criticized after teaming up with the 'Jordan' brand to make a gear donation to a prominent private high school. Zion Williamson is under fire on social media, as multiple theories circulate as to why the NBA star would choose Newman High over the many less fortunate schools across New Orleans.
Although Zion Williamson has not seen any action for the New Orleans Pelicans so far this season due to injury, his presence is still being felt here in Louisiana.
See the announcement by @Newman_Bball on Twitter below.
In the post, Newman's official account for the basketball team thanks Zion Williamson and the 'Jordan' brand for their generosity. But as the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.
Criticism for Williamson's donation quickly flooded in on social media. See reactions to the post from Twitter below.
The sentiment by some online is that there are many high schools across the New Orleans area who may have possibly been more needing of this kind of donation. Many echoed the idea, but eventually the Newman High boys basketball coach addressed these critics himself.
Coach Randy Livingston is an LSU alumni who played eleven seasons in the NBA. Since his professional playing days, Livingston has gotten into coaching and in recent years has been in charge of the boys team at Newman.
See more of Livingston's response to the criticism here.
Livingston says that his team received twelve pairs of sneakers, citing that Williamson likes the way the group plays. He also points out that we live in a judge mental world, but respects that others have a voice to share their opinion.
Opinions were certainly available on this move by Zion Williamson, as the reactions to the move continued to pour in on social media. See more from Twitter here.
Why did Zion Williamson donate to Newman High in New Orleans?
Some suggested that the donation was somehow a play to appease the highly sought-after Arch Manning, son of Cooper Manning and nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning.
If you were unaware, Arch is a top-ranked quarterback that is coming out of high school in 2023. He is also a strong-forward on the basketball team.
Does Zion Williamson's little brother attend Newman High in New Orleans?
While some have suggested that the move was a marketing play by 'Jordan' and Williamson, there may be another reason that the Pelicans forward got the gear to Newman. One Twitter user pointed out a caveat that is certainly worth looking into.
While this Twitter user suggests that Williamson has a younger brother who attends Newman High, online reports confirm that the Pelican does in fact have a step-brother. But Williamson's step-brother, Noah, is reportedly 13-years-younger than Zion. That means that Noah is currently under 10-years-old, meaning he most certainly is not attending high school at this time.
After checking out the Newman roster, it is unclear if anyone on the team is related to Zion Williamson. So unless Williamson has another brother that is flying under the radar, I cannot confirm the above Twitter theory.
Many more social media users piled onto Williamson for making a donation to what NOLA.com reported was the #1 ranked private school in the state of Louisiana.
One Twitter user suggested that Williamson has a relationship with the Newman program.
Whether Zion Williamson chose Newman High as the recipient of this donation himself or if the 'Jordan' brand made the call, there are certainly many on social media who wish that this type of attention would be shared with other high schools across the greater New Orleans area. It is undeniable that there are many schools and athletic programs that are underfunded and would certainly appreciate a donation to help outfit their team.
But at the end of the day, donation decisions lie with those actually doing the giving. While there are certainly some happy guys on the Newman High basketball team right now, there may be even more on social media that have shown their displeasure with a prominent private high school receiving gear from arguably the state's biggest professional athlete.