Pelicans big man Zion Williamson is already on his way to becoming the face of New Orleans sports, it seems.
Williamson is a generational talent, and was selected by the team with the first pick in this year’s draft. It seemed like a passing-of-the-torch moment, as he’s only 19 years of age, while Drew Brees — the current GOAT in New Orleans sports — is 41, and may only have another season left in him.
But Zion, on the other hand, has delivered in a big way, averaging a ridiculous 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his rookie season thus far, since returning from injury.
Not only that, he’s now got a baby penguin named after him. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has named its newest addition — born Feb. 17 — Baby Penguin Zion, sharing the announcement in the Instagram post below.
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Egg-citing news! An absolutely adorable African penguin chick named Zion hatched at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on February 17, 2020, after a 39-day incubation period. 🐧 We chose the name Zion in honor of @pelicansnba rookie @ZionWilliamson. In this time of uncertainty, Zion embraced the New Orleans community with a truly remarkable act of generosity after NBA season halted. Zion is the offspring of penguin pair Hubig (mother) and Ocio (father). After spending approximately 11 days being raised with its parents, as sometimes happens, it needed to be removed and taken under human care. This is a very time-consuming process for animal care staff and is a testament to their dedication, especially right now since we are closed, and only essential staff are on site taking such great care of the animals. The African penguins at the Aquarium serve as ambassadors, teaching guests about the plight of this species in the wild due to human-wildlife conflict. We are proud to be able to contribute to the African Penguin @zoos_aquariums Species Survival Plan, and we hope to continue our breeding success year after year. #SavingSpecies #ClosedButStillCaring
High praise for sure.