Bronny James, son of LeBron, gets Nike NIL deal ahead of high school season


As LeBron James Jr. noted, he had already been part of the Nike “family” for most of his life. A name, likeness and likeness deal announced on Monday has simply turned that relationship into a more formal arrangement.

More commonly known as Bronny James, he is the 18-year-old son of LeBron James and a rising basketball talent in his own right. A lead point guard at Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles, Bronny James has become one of five players who are now official Nike endorsers.

The other four include a pair of college stars, Caitlin Clark from Iowa and Haley Jones from Stanford, as well as two other high schoolers: Dajuan “DJ” Wagner Jr. from Camden., NJ, and Judea “JuJu” Watkins, who plays for the Sierra Canyon women’s team.

“Each athlete is recognized as a player who paves the way for the next generation on and off the court,” Nike said.

From 2019: LeBron’s child Bronny James is the biggest high school draw

This language echoes Nike’s marketing for its LeBron XX shoe, the latest in the Los Angeles Lakers star’s signature line which was unveiled in September and which has a stitched label inside the tongue that reads: “Designed and engineered to exact next-gen specifications. “The shoe was created with “players like LeBron’s sons Bronny and Bryce in mind,” a senior Nike shoe designer said in a statement.

In a statement on Monday, Bronny James said, “As long as I can remember, Nike has been part of my family.”

“To have the chance to team up with them,” the 6-foot-2 keeper continued, “and carry on my family’s legacy both on the pitch and in the community is crazy – it really means a lot for me.”

According to Nike, Bronny James wants to use the partnership with the apparel giant to “continue to support the LeBron James Family Foundation and positively impact the communities that matter most to him.”

LeBron James had been associated with Nike for a month before the 2003 NBA draft, in which he became No. 1 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, after the sides agreed to a deal that would pay the then-high schooler more than $90 million. . It ended a furious courtship among the biggest sports shoe companies including Adidas and Reebok, and James’ partnership with Nike took an unprecedented turn in 2015 when he signed him for what essentially amounted to a lifetime contract.

The terms of Nike’s NIL agreements with Bronny James and the other four players were not disclosed on Monday.

Clark enters her junior campaign for Iowa as the unanimous selection for Big Ten preseason player of the year after earning conference player of the year honors for a 2021-22 season during which she became the first female Division I player to lead the country in points per game (27) and assists per game (eight) in the same season. His previous NIL deals included pacts with trading card maker Topps, tax preparation company H&R Block and supermarket chain Hy-Vee (per Hawk Central).

Jones, a senior guard, is the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year. She was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 NCAA Tournament after leading Stanford to the national championship, and her NIL partners include audio maker Beats by Dre, financial products company SoFi and video game series NBA 2K.

Who benefits the most from NIL? Women’s basketball is near the top.

Watkins is a decorated member of the U.S. national youth teams whose accomplishments include winning the FIBA ​​U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup MVP in July after helping his country win the title against Spain.

Wagner, 17, is looking to become the NBA’s first third-generation player. His father, Dajuan, had a five-year career in the league after being the sixth pick in the 2002 draft, and his grandfather Milt was a second-round pick in 1986 after a stellar career at Louisville.

Bronny James will be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft, but it’s unclear if his skills will be ready for the pros at that time. His 37-year-old father, about to start his 20th NBA season, has indicated he wants Bronny as a teammate.

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