There are allegations that Zion Williamson, his stepfather, and his mother have failed to repay $1.8 million of a $2 million loan from a technology business in California. Williamson is a great player for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ankr PBC stated in a civil lawsuit that it provided the loan in September 2021 to Williamson and family members while trying to create a marketing relationship with the Pelicans’ All-Star power forward. The case was filed this week in the United States District Court in New Orleans.
The firm, which specializes in blockchain-related technologies used in finance and data storage, alleges in the lawsuit that it thought Williamson might act as an Ankr spokesperson. The company specializes in blockchain-related technologies used in finance and data storage.
According to the lawsuit, Lee Anderson, the stepfather of the player, acted as Williamson’s business manager and demanded an upfront payment of $150,000 to discuss a future business partnership with his stepson. This information is included in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, “Ankr reasonably believed that Anderson possessed the authority to negotiate business arrangements for Williamson based on Williamson’s statements to Ankr.”
A message was left for Anderson on Wednesday asking for his reply, but he has yet to respond to the message.
In the case, it is stated that Ankr assisted Williamson with community events, found a personal trainer and cook for Williamson, and helped Williamson find a personal trainer.
Sharonda Sampson, Williamson’s mother, is named as a defendant in the case in part because Ankr deposited money into her account after Anderson allegedly told the company that his family urgently required a “bridge loan” to satisfy investment obligations. Williamson’s mother is cited as a defendant in the case partly because of this.
“Anderson represented that the loan was urgently needed, as the family had taken on expensive investments, including the purchase of certain real estate in New Orleans, and could not meet their obligations due to the temporary suspension of payments from Williamson’s sponsorship deals as a result of an injury,” the lawsuit stated. “Anderson represented that the loan was urgently needed because the family had taken on expensive investments, including the purchase of certain real estate in New Orleans.”
Ankr further claims that Anderson warned the company that “his family would suffer financial hardship, and Williamson would not enter into a business relationship with Ankr” if the loan were not given quickly. This allegation is based on Ankr’s interpretation of what Anderson told the company.
Ankr stated that it agreed to provide the loan on the condition that it be paid back by the due date of August 21, 2022, but that Anderson subsequently requested a series of extensions and that when Ankr finally received a check for $25,000, it bounced. Ankr alleged that Anderson then asked for a series of extensions and that when Ankr finally received a check for $25,000, it bounced.
According to the lawsuit, Ankr and Anderson engaged in a forbearance agreement in April of last year. According to the terms of the agreement, the firm agreed that it would not sue provided it got a payback of $500,000 by April 25 and the remaining by July 6.
According to the lawsuit, Ankr was paid $500,000 on time; however, approximately $300,000 of that amount covered interest, and the remaining $1.8 million has yet to be reimbursed.
Williamson, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 285 pounds, and excelled in college basketball while playing for Duke, was selected first overall in the 2019 NBA draft. Even though he has had a number of ailments, he has been selected as an All-Star twice. This is because he can combine his size, speed, agility, and jumping ability to score an average of 25.8 points per game, many of which are highlighted by crowd-pleasing dunks.
As a result of knee, foot, and hamstring ailments, he could only participate in 114 games over his first four seasons. This means that he has been sidelined for a total of 194 games during his career, including all nine of his team’s postseason encounters.
Despite this, the Pelicans re-signed him during the summer of 2018 to a five-year rookie maximum agreement worth $193 million plus incentives. This deal will become effective at the beginning of the 2023-2024 season.
Williamson and his stepfather have been named as defendants in various lawsuits filed by a marketing agent in Florida who is seeking $100 million from Williamson. These lawsuits were filed against Williamson. Gina Ford, Williamson’s agent, argues that he broke an agreement she had with him to represent him in endorsement arrangements in an inappropriate manner. But Ford was handed a significant setback when a federal judge in North Carolina decided that whatever arrangement Ford made with Williamson to act as his representative was null and invalid. The judge determined that Ford was not a licensed agent in North Carolina when she met with Williamson and that their contract did not comply with significant provisions established by the state’s sports agency statute, the Uniform Athlete Agents Act. The judge also concluded that Ford was not a licensed agent in North Carolina when she met with Williamson.