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People Camped Out For 39 Days To Watch This Basketballer Play - And He Was Injured After 33 Seconds

Nike stocks have dropped

People Camped Out For 39 Days To Watch This Basketballer Play - And He Was Injured After 33 Seconds AAP

People who camped out for more than a month to get tickets to a college basketball game in the US were treated to just 33 seconds of their star player before he was injured in what is being labelled a "$3 billion" disaster.

Zion Williamson, widely tipped to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft, plays for Duke University's Blue Devils, who were facing North Carolina in a sold-out game packed with celebrities like Barack Obama and Spike Lee.

Tickets were going for upwards of $3,000, with some Duke students setting up tents and camping out for 39 days to bag seats.

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But just over 30 seconds into the game, Williamson landed awkwardly on his left shoe, ripping the entire sole loose and causing his foot to push right through the side.

The 18-year-old could then be seen grabbing the back of his right knee, before limping to the bench; a few minutes later, he left the court and made for the locker room.

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According to coach Mike Krzyzewski, Williamson is suffering a sprained right knee - but Nike, the makers of Williamson's defective sneaker and sponsors of Duke University, are suffering a multi-billion dollar loss as a result.

Overnight, the sportswear juggernaut's stock dropped by 1.37 per cent, which equates to roughly US$3 billion, says ESPN's Jay Williams.

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The shoes Williamson was wearing, the PG 2.5, have also been discounted on the Nike website, "between 4.5 per cent and 16 per cent depending on colour", says business reporter Darren Rovell.

Nike has launched an investigation into the "isolated" event, a spokesperson said.

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The incident has once again sparked debate about the ethics of college basketball in America; currently, athletes are not allowed to join the NBA until they are 19 years old and have spent at least one season out of high school.

They also, despite bringing in huge amounts of revenue for their respective colleges, cannot be paid a salary, instead being lured by the promise of scholarships.

It means that players like Williamson are basically forced to play at least one year in college until they're eligible for the NBA draft - and the pay packet and endorsement deals that come with it.

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