“I don’t know what to say,” Williamson said, holding back tears while being interviewed by Maria Taylor.
“I didn’t think I’d be in this position, my mom sacrificed a lot for me. I wouldn’t be here without my mom, she did everything for me, I just want to thank her.”
Taylor then spoke of how Williamson’s mother, Sharonda -- who was stood beside her son during the interview, coached the star prospect until he was 14.
Responding, Williamson said: “She put her dreams aside for mine. She always looked out for the family first before herself.”
As the top pick stepped back from the microphone, tears in his eyes, Sharonda stepped in and described her emotions in the moment.
“We, he’s worked since 5 for this moment… to watch his hard work pay off and to this, we’re so happy for him, we’re so happy,” she said.
“I’ve seen someone who put in the work, who put those naysayers aside and just continued to do what we asked, continued to believe in the process. Because of that, we’re here today.”
Wrapping up the interview with tears visibly rolling, Williamson added: “It don’t even seem real… I dreamed about this since I was 4, and for it to actually happen, I just thank God for it.”
Williamson, who averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 68 percent from the field in his one season at Duke, has been the consensus No. 1 choice for months, making the Pelicans' draft decision the easiest since the Cleveland Cavaliers selected LeBron James with the first pick back in 2003.