The people in New Orleans may not be able to watch Zion Williamson soar for the New Orleans Pelicans anytime soon, but they can at least get to know another Zion in the mean time.
The Audobon Nature Institute named one of their latest newborn African penguin chicks after the Pelicans rookie sensation. The Institute shared images of the newborn penguin on Tuesday and invited Williamson to meet his “little brother” and “namesake”. The Institute commended the Pelicans forward for his generosity in the community during the coronavirus pandemic that has upended life for so many people around the globe.
Hey @Zionwilliamson and @PelicansNBA, meet Zion! During these challenging times, you've embraced the community with a truly remarkable act of generosity. Let us know when you want to take your little brother and meet your namesake! pic.twitter.com/pvVh0Y1l2A
— Audubon Nature Institute (@AudubonNature) March 24, 2020
The 19-year old had graciously pledged to financially support employees of the Smoothie King Center for 30 days soon after the NBA announced it was suspending the regular season due to the outbreak of COVID-19. In his post, he expressed his gratitude to the New Orleans community for being “incredibly welcoming and supportive” since he relocated to Louisiana to begin his career.
Soon after Zion announced his magnanimous intentions, Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson committed $1 million to set up a COVID-19 fund, in addition to various other pledges to help those affected by the pandemic.
In an Instagram post, the Audobon Nature Institute elaborated on Penguin Zion’s backstory.
Zion (the penguin) was born Feb. 17. A few days prior, on Feb. 14, the Baton Rouge Zoo named its new giraffe Burreaux in honor of the LSU quarterback (and presumptive no. 1 pick) Joe Burrow, who won a Heisman Trophy and National Championship for the Tigers in 2019.
No word yet on if and when the two Zions will meet, but we will continue to provide updates on the situation.