Zion Williamson is suing a Florida marketing company to enforce the termination of an agreement between the two sides on the basis of the deal being unlawful under North Carolina law, his attorneys told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Five days after declaring for the 2019 NBA draft, Williamson signed a marketing deal with Gina Ford and Prime Sports, per the suit. The deal included a clause stating that it couldn't be terminated for five years.
On May 31, Williamson's family approached Ford and Prime Sports to explain that it was ending the agreement. However, the agency threatened to sue for damages in excess of $100 million.
Williamson, who's expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft, has signed with CAA Sports for contractual and marketing representation since leaving Ford and Prime Sports.
The agreement between Williamson and Prime Sports is considered unlawful under North Carolina's Uniform Athlete Agents Act because the firm is not certified by the National Basketball Players Association or a registered athlete agent in North Carolina or Florida. Also, the agreement did not contain a notice in boldface type and capital letters which says the player is losing his eligibility as a student-athlete by signing it, which is required by the UAAA.
"Prime Sports Marketing's actions towards Mr. Williamson blatantly violated the North Carolina statute specifically designed to protect student athletes," Jeffrey S. Klein, an attorney for Williamson, told ESPN. "Mr. Williamson properly exercised his rights under the law to void his business dealings with Prime Sports Marketing. Prime Sports Marketing's continued threats against Mr. Williamson made necessary the filing of this lawsuit."