Bronny James among 5 hoops players to land Nike NIL deals

Nike has closed NIL endorsement deals with five top amateur basketball players, led by LeBron James’ son Bronny James of Sierra Canyon High School.

The NBA star’s eldest son turned 18 over the weekend and has already been incorporated into the launch of the Los Angeles Lakers forward’s latest 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 headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

“Nike has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember,” Bronny James said in a statement. “To get the 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 struck NIL deals with Iowa point guard Caitlin Clark, Stanford guard Haley Jones, Sierra Canyon High School star guard Juju Watkins and top guard 2023 DJ Wagner from Camden, New Jersey.

“Every athlete is recognized as a player who paves the way for the next generation on and off the pitch,” the brand said in a statement. “These athletes are pushing Nike to think of new ways in which the game can break down barriers, bring people together, build communities and shape the future.”

While details will be announced in the coming months, Nike plans to partner with each student-athlete on a variety of community initiatives in their hometowns. All five currently play for schools sponsored by Nike.

Clark, a junior point guard in Iowa, has earned a long list of awards throughout 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 has the distinction of being the only Division I 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 Most Outstanding Player during the Cardinals’ 2021 championship season, is also a Naismith Trophy finalist entering her final collegiate season.

Watkins plays for the Sierra Canyon women’s basketball team and is a top-flight 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 senior point guard in the Class of 2023, wants to become the first third-generation NBA player in league history.

His grandfather, Milt Wagner, was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1986 and played for 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 a teammate of LeBron James in James’ first two seasons.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/recruiting/story/_/id/34769258/bronny-james-5-hoops-players-land-nike-nil-deals Bronny James among 5 hoops players to land Nike NIL deals

Emma Bowman

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