Duke University Reviewing Michael Avenatti Claim that Nike Bribed Zion Williamson's Mother

Let the sneaker wars begin Zion Williamson is about to get paid

The latest target for Avenatti: Duke and its superstar freshman, Zion Williamson.

The documents allege that Nike paid either the families or "handlers" of players Bol Bol, Deandre Ayton and Brandon McCoy.

Top shoe brand Nike has refused to react to the allegations made by celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti that it bribed high school athletes including Zion Williamson for joining "Nike" colleges via family members.

In an emailed statement on Saturday, Duke athletic director Kevin White said the school is "looking into" the allegation.

Williamson, the projected top overall pick in June's NBA Draft, is expected to receive potential record-breaking offers for his services from sneaker companies this summer. Avenatti has yet to provide visual proof of any payments to persons connected to Williamson.

Duke responded to this by saying the university is looking into the claims raised by Avenatti.

It is significant that Avenatti's is targeting Nike which was so far immune from allegations relating to the college basketball scandal that was probed by federal investigators.

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Preliminary hearings for Avenatti vs. Nike are set to begin in NY on April 25. Similarly, Under Armour sponsored former Kansas star Josh Jackson's mother's program, and Nike sponsored a team directed and coached by former Duke star Marvin Bagley III's father. Avenatti shared a 41-page document on social media but it did not contain any references to Williamson.

Avenatti also made allegations claiming Zion Williamson's mother, Sharonda Sampson, received payments from Nike during her son's recruitment when he was attending high school in SC.

"This evidence is now in the hands of law enforcement", Avenatti said on Twitter.

"If I get hit by a bus today, this story will go on, and Nike's corruption eventually will be exposed and the world will know what really happened here", he continued. "Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility".

Avenatti allegedly told Nike that he would release evidence Nike funneled money to college basketball recruits-such payments would be in violation of NCAA rules-unless he was paid $22.5 million. "Still waiting for Nike to deny they paid bribes and lied to the government for years about it".

This all comes after Avenatti, who has gained widespread notoriety in the past year for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen, was arrested and charged in NY in March for trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike by threatening to take his allegations public.

There are invoices, bank statements, wire transfers and text exchanges that appear to detail cash drops or checks to non-profit organizations.

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