Zion Williamson Gets Favorable Court Ruling
MIAMI (AP) — A Florida appeals court has granted Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson’s motion to block his former marketing agent’s effort to have the ex-Duke star answer questions about whether he received improper benefits before playing for the Blue Devils. The order Wednesday shifts the focus to a separate but related case between the same litigants in federal court in North Carolina.
The Florida lawsuit, filed last summer by Prime Sports Marketing and company president Gina Ford, accused Williamson and the agency now representing him of breach of contract and seeks $100 million in damages. That came after Williamson had filed his own lawsuit a week earlier in North Carolina to terminate a five-year contract with Prime Sports after his decision to move to Creative Artists Agency.
Ford’s attorneys had submitted questions in filings last month that included whether the Williamson or anyone on his behalf sought or accepted “money, benefits, favors or things of value” to sign with Duke. They sought answers within 30 days to establish facts under oath in the pretrial discovery process.
In a filing last week in the North Carolina case, Prime Sports-Ford attorneys continued to argue that last summer’s No. 1 overall NBA draft pick didn’t meet the definition of a student-athlete because he was “ineligible” to play college sports. That filing referenced housing for Williamson’s family during his time with the Blue Devils as well as three luxury SUVs registered by his mother and stepfather between December 2017 and April 2019 — the latter being the same month Williamson announced he would go pro before ultimately being picked by the New Orleans Pelicans.