New Orleans Pelicans’ star Zion Williamson may just be a rookie, but he’s had quite an impact on the community already.
So much so, that they’re already naming things after Williamson in New Orleans.
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas announced Thursday it is naming a new penguin chick after the prolific power forward to say thank you for all he’s done for the city.
“In this time of uncertainty, Zion (Williamson) embraced the New Orleans community with a truly remarkable act of generosity after (the) NBA season halted,” the aquarium wrote in an Instagram post.
You can read it below:
View this post on Instagram
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
In the aftermath of the NBA suspending its season indefinitely, Williamson hopped on board with a number of NBA players to pitch in and help compensate game-day employees that would be out of work during the hiatus. Williamson personally pledged to cover the cost of all Smoothie King Center workers for 30 days.
This adorable penguin now is almost guaranteed to be the biggest of the aquarium’s waddle.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images