Prime Sports Marketing and its president, Gina Ford, sought breach-of-contract damages from Zion Williamson and his current representatives after the player pulled out of an agreement with Prime Sports before he became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
Last week, Zion Williamson requested a protective order against an inquiry by his former marketing agent into whether he received illegal benefits to take his talents to the Duke Blue Devils, according to Daniel Wallach of The Athletic.
Bad news came for him this week when a Miami judge denied his request for a protective order, ruling that the former Duke standout must answer questions under oath about his college eligibility, according to attorney Darren Heitner.
The Pelicans rookie and his legal team previously tried to argue that the inquiry was “invasive” and “irrelevant.”
Ford is looking for answers from Zion Williamson, his mother, and stepfather about the house they lived in while he was at the school.
In a filing with Miami-Dade County court, Ford’s attorneys asked Williamson to admit that several statements were true, including:
• Sharonda Sampson, Williamson’s mother, and Lee Anderson, his stepfather, “demanded and received gifts and economic benefits from persons acting on behalf of Duke University (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball.”
• Sampson and Anderson “demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons on behalf of Nike (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball.”
• Sampson and Anderson “demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Adidas (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to wear Adidas shoes” and to “influence [Williamson] to attend a college that endorsed Adidas shoes.”
• Before becoming a student at Duke, Williamson “or person(s) acting on [his] behalf (including but not limited to Sharonda Sampson and Lee Anderson) accepted benefits from a NCAA-certified agent that are not expressly permitted by the NCAA legislation” between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 14, 2019.
By requesting Williamson admit his family members received illegal benefits while he was an amateur, Ford is likely contending that Williamson was well aware his days as an amateur were over.
The lawsuit against Williamson is seeking $100 million.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.