Nike has finalized NIL endorsement deals with five top amateur basketball players, headlined by LeBron James‘ son, Bronny James of Sierra Canyon High School.
The eldest son of the NBA star turned 18 over the weekend, and has already been incorporated into the rollout of the Los Angeles Lakers forward’s newest signature sneaker, the Nike LeBron 20.
The elder James signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2015, and recently unveiled The LeBron James Innovation Center at the company’s Beaverton, Oregon, headquarters.
“For as long as I can remember, Nike’s been a part of my family,” Bronny James said in a statement. “Getting a chance to team up with them and continue my family’s legacy both on the court and in the community is wild — it really means a lot to me.”
In addition to Bronny James, Nike also finalized NIL deals with Iowa point guard Caitlin Clark, Stanford guard Haley Jones, Sierra Canyon High School star guard Juju Watkins, and top 2023 guard D.J. Wagner of Camden, New Jersey.
“Each athlete is recognized as a player who is paving the way for the next generation on and off the court,” the brand said in a statement. “These athletes push Nike to think about new ways the game can break barriers, bring people together, build community and shape the future.”
While specifics will be announced in the coming months, Nike plans to partner with each student-athlete on a variety of community efforts in their hometowns. All five currently play for Nike-sponsored schools.
Clark, a junior point guard at Iowa, has already earned a lengthy list of accolades during her collegiate career, including first team All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year, Wooden Award All-America, first team AP All-America and others. She also holds the distinction of being the only Division I women’s basketball player to lead the nation in points and assists per game in a season.
Jones, a senior guard at Stanford and the NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player during the Cardinal’s 2021 championship season, is also a Naismith Trophy finalist, heading into her final collegiate season.
Starring for the women’s basketball team at Sierra Canyon, Watkins is a top-ranked player in the 2023 class from Los Angeles. The 6-foot guard was recently named California Gatorade Player of the Year and MaxPreps National Player of the Year.
Wagner, a top-ranked point guard in the class of 2023, is looking to become the NBA’s first third-generation player in league history.
His grandfather Milt Wagner was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1986 and played with both the Lakers and Miami Heat. His father, Dajuan Wagner, was the sixth pick of the 2002 NBA draft, selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was teammates with LeBron James during James’ first two seasons.
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