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The 5’6 kid who defended Zion Williamson without backing down goes viral again

What are we supposed to do in a world without sports? It’s a question so many people have been asking themselves in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As the spread of the virus has led to the cancelation of the NCAA tournament and the suspension of the NBA season, sports fans are left to dig through history to get their fix.

Nostalgia doesn’t always have to be reserved for the distant past. While Chicago TV stations are replaying old Michael Jordan games and NBA TV has every NBA Finals matchup since the turn of the millennium available with the click of a button, some of the strangest and most entertaining recent sports moments live only on YouTube.

That brings us back to Zion Williamson’s junior season at Spartanburg Day Academy in South Carolina and a February 2017 matchup against an eighth grader named Bryson Bishop.

A video of Bishop defending Williamson produced by Hoop Diamonds went viral when it was first published. It currently has 6.4 million views.

Bishop received another 15 minutes of internet fame earlier this week when a shorter clip of the video started getting passed around on Twitter. That clip now has nearly 4 million additional views.

What else are basketball fans supposed to watch in a pandemic?

Bishop clapping. Williamson pointing at him and making a look that seems both disgusted and confused at the same time. It’s all so good.

For all the laughs about how physically overmatched Bishop was against Williamson, you’ll notice he didn’t allow him to score. Instead, he was whistled for the foul and put Williamson on the free-throw line. Considering that Williamson hit only 64 percent of his free throws at both Duke and with the New Orleans Pelicans, that’s a pretty good play.

Bishop also knocks down three three-pointers in the original Hoop Diamonds video, with two coming from the corner and one appearing to possibly be from NBA range on the wing. When you’re the smallest guy on the court, you better be able to shoot, and you better not be scared to pull the trigger.

The Undefeated caught up with Bishop and the two coaches in the game back in May 2019, just as Williamson was set to become the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Bishop’s team was apparently running a box-and-one defensive scheme which had him matchup with Williamson for no more than a few possessions.

What did Bishop have to say about guarding Williamson?

“I was nervous,” Bishop said. “I had watched all the highlight tapes, and you don’t get to see a big guy like him every day. I was clapping to hype myself up.”

“You stand next to him,” Bishop said, “and you realize how small you actually are standing next to someone his size.”

Bishop now reportedly stands over 6’ tall and is in the process of finishing his junior year of high school. Williamson is averaging nearly 24 points per game as a rookie for the Pelicans.

One day, we will be able to watch Williamson back on the court once again. Until then, high school clips like this one can keep us occupied.