Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson scored 29 points against Syracuse in the ACC quarterfinals. In this picture, Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks the ball against the Syracuse Orange during their game in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 14, 2019. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Zion Williamson returned for the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday night for their game against the Syracuse Orange, which they won 84-72. It was the forward’s first game since suffering a knee injury just seconds into their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Feb. 20 when his shoe exploded.

The 18-year-old, who is considered the country’s top basketball prospect, suffered a minor knee injury when one of his Nike’s simply disintegrated just seconds into the game against the Tar Heels. It was a scary moment as the player went down and failed to return for the rest of the game owing to an injury.

Nike suffered a severe backlash as it was not the first time that the structural integrity of the shoe had been compromised while questions were also raised if it made sense for Williamson to return to college basketball. It was suggested he should quit college basketball as he earns no remuneration for his efforts and focus on the upcoming NBA Draft where he is expected to be the No.1 overall pick.

But the Blue Devils forward looks to be keen to help his team and returned to action in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament on Thursday against Syracuse. And in what has been a norm this season, he top scored with 29 points and 14 rebounds to help his team record a 12-point win.

Williamson also set the record books alight by completing the most field goals without a miss. The forward attempted 13 shots and every one of them was a success, a new Duke record. He was in a defiant mood after the game, stating “I come ready to kill every game”.

"It felt great," he said on ESPN after the Blue Devils’ win. "I love this game, I love my teammates, so people who thought I wasn't going to return they weren't smart. I love playing with Duke. I love my teammates and it was great to be back. I come ready to kill every game, so it was just great to get back on the court.”

“They are entitled to their own opinion, I appreciate the input but I could not leave my boys hanging,” he added talking about the people who asked him to quit college basketball while stating that his knee felt “incredible”.

The Blue Devils have now progressed to the semifinals of the ACC tournament and will now meet arch-rivals North Carolina on Friday and Williamson will have his chance to shine after being robbed of a chance in the previous game.