If you’re not already aware of the name Zion Williamson, it might be time to familiarise yourself.

The Duke University phenom is an almost unbackable favourite to go pick number one in this year’s NBA Draft. Partly because he’s extremely good at basketball. And partly because he’s built like an absolute brick shithouse.

Unfortunately, Zion’s prospects took a (hopefully minor) hit this afternoon after suffering a knee injury mere seconds into Duke’s clash heavyweight against North Carolina.

Not because he landed weirdly or suffered a contact injury or anything like that.

But because he planted his left leg down so fucking hard that his foot burst through his shoe.

I’ll say that again: HE STEPPED SO POWERFULLY THAT HIS SHOE EXPLODED.

Look!

Right through it. That entire, very large shoe is left dangling on his ankle like a damned mud guard.

It’s not a small blowout either. I’m talking a full, toe-to-heel annihilation of that probably Size Infinity ked.

Here’s how much pull Zion Williamson has in the US at the moment: Barack Obama was at the game to watch. And because of that, and the shoe blowout, we now have footage of the 44th President of the United States pointing and mouthing the phrase “his shoe broke.”

No doubt about it. That’s Barack Obama on national TV expressing awe about a busted shoe. Unbelievable scenes. So unbelievable in fact that tenured US sportscasters could do naught but react in all caps.

Of course the bad news is that Zion was helped to the back following the injury, which was shortly followed by the announcement he would be out for at least the rest of the game.

Which brought up the sad reality of the entire situation; that being Zion, as a college athlete, was getting paid $0 for the game, despite his draw being so big that the former US President was in attendance and the absolute cheapest secondary market tickets for the game were listed at US$2,990.

Here’s hoping the injury isn’t as bad as feared and that he’s healthy enough to play out the season, move to the pros, and get his ass extremely paid. Lord knows he deserves it.

Image: Getty Images / Streeter Lecka