Nation's No. 3 prospect Zion Williamson chooses Duke over UNC, Kentucky, Kansas, Clemson

Zion Williamson’s college debut will the one of the most anticipated the game’s ever seen. (AP)

Duke scored a major recruiting win Saturday, landing elite basketball prospect Zion Williamson over a group of suitors that included Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Clemson.

“In the fall of 2018, I will continue my basketball journey … joining the brotherhood of Duke University,” Williamson announced Saturday night.

Williamson, Rivals’ No. 3 nationally ranked prospect and a Spartanburg, South Carolina product bypassed what many thought was a home-state favorite in Clemson.

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While he’s No. 3 in the rankings, he’s second to none in buzz. The 6-foot 6 inch 270-pound forward’s combination of size, superb athleticism and social media presence, where Drake is one of his million-plus Instagram followers, have made him a star in basketball circles before he even sets foot on a college campus.

His House of Highlights mixtape resembles an “NBA Jam” highlight reel more than that of a high school student. His YouTube videos have racked up millions of page views.

In short, he’s the most-hyped high school prospect in years, perhaps even since LeBron James. His popularity made his prime-time announcement on ESPN2 Saturday must-see TV for hoops heads.

And while fellow Duke commitments R.J. Barrett and Cameron Reddish edged Williamson in the 2018 player rankings, no freshman debut will be more anticipated next season than his.