Bronny James is amongst a handful of high school and college stars that have recently signed a NIL deal with Nike, according to the sports apparel giant.
James joins Caitlin Clark, Haley Jones, DJ Wagner, and Juju Watkins as the newest members of the Nike family. Bronny’s father, LeBron, signed a lifetime deal with the legendary sports apparel company in 2015 after becoming as synonymous with the company as Michael Jordan due to his signature line of LeBron sneakers. Nike has released 20 in LeBron’s sneaker line.
James is the No. 41 overall player in the class of 2023, according to 247Sports, and is likely a long way off from making a decision on hoopin in college or professionally in the G League, Australia, or China. The NBA and players union recently announced that they are “expected to agree on” lowering the requirement for draft-eligible players to be one year out of high school to be 18-years-old.
— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) October 10, 2022
The stunning move could open the door to the NBA deciding to move on from its controversial one-and-done rule. If completed this year, Bronny James, Wagner, and Mikey Williams could be on the shortlist of high school superstars looking to make the prep-to-pro jump.
Wagner, the son of former NBA player Dejuan Wagner, is the No. 2 overall player in the 2023 class per 247Sports and has taken official visits to Kentucky and Memphis. He is unsigned as of Monday. If he makes it to the League, Wagner will be the first-ever third gen hooper in the NBA after his dad and grandfather, Milt, played in the NBA.
According to ESPN, Watkins is the No. 2 overall player in the 2023 class. She’s a classmate of James and has been recruited by many of the nation’s top college programs. Clark was named the 2022 Big Ten Player of the Year and a first-team All-American after averaging 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game while leading Iowa to a second-round appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Jones has led Stanford to back-to-back Final Four appearances and helped the Cardinals won their third championship in program history in 2021. As a junior, Jones earned All-American honors after averaging 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.
Amateur athletes were given the ability to profit off their name, image, and likeness in 2021. The ruling applies to all student-athletes in the NCAA and high schoolers in certain states, including California and New Jersey, where Bronny, Watkins, and Wagner reside.
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