Duke looking into allegations that Nike paid Zion Williamson's mother

Zion Williamson

Federal prosecutors in NY have accused Avenatti of attempting to extort Nike. The Blue Devils have been sponsored by Nike since 1992, and Coach K has extremely strong ties to the brand.

Avenatti alleged that Nike paid Franklin thousands of dollars in 2017 that he channeled to Bol's "handler" Melvin McDonald.

"I nearly forgot - long day - @DukeMBB can you also have your close friends at @Nike check their Nike Vendor Portal for payments to "Sharonda Sampson Consulting".

Avenatti allegedly told Nike that he would release evidence Nike funneled money to college basketball recruits-such payments would be in violation of NCAA rules-unless he was paid $22.5 million.

Avenatti also made allegations claiming Zion Williamson's mother, Sharonda Sampson, received payments from Nike during her son's recruitment when he was attending high school in SC. "Nike will continue its cooperation with the government's investigation into grassroots basketball and the related extortion case", the apparel company said in a statement via Dan Wetzel.

"About this denial by Coach K the other day relating to payments by Nike.Can you please ask Zion Williamson's mother - Sharonda Sampson - whether she was paid by @nike for bogus 'consulting services" in 2016/17 as part of a Nike bribe to get Zion to go to Duke?

A 6-foot-7 forward from Spartanburg, S.C., Williamson just completed what will be his only season at Duke by being named a consensus all-American.

These claims should be taken with a grain of salt given that the ever-waning credibility of the person delivering this narrative; Avenatti was arrested for trying to extort Nike itself, and has a reputation as a brazen attention-seeker. "Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility".

Avenatti's previous allegations included claims against former Arizona player Deandre Ayton and OR player Bol Bol.

NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson was eyeball to shoulder alongside larger-than-life freshman Zion Williamson on Friday night, posing for photographers as he handed off the national player of the year award that bears his name and likeness, when he offered a warning for the basketball world.

Williamson is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the June NBA draft. He has previously denied any wrongdoing in a scandal involving improper payments that has rocked the college basketball world.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, Nike bashed Avenatti's allegations as 'disgraceful'. Included are bank statements, text messages and fake invoices disguised as business expenses.

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