The recent changes to the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules for college student-athletes made many sportspeople very happy and some wealthy before signing professional sports contracts.
According to ESPN, a 17-year-old basketball player, Mikey Williams, is the latest student-athlete to sign a very lucrative contract that makes him the first U.S. high school basketball player to sign a sneaker deal with a global footwear company.
Williams, who is a 6-foot-2 junior at the new Vertical Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, has signed a multi-year agreement with the footwear giant, Puma. Williams, a combo guard, was ranked as the 11th best prospect in his high school class by ESPN. The basketball player has already received 10 scholarship offers from some college programs.
– PUMA Basketball (@PUMAHoops) 28 October 2021
âI am thrilled to be joining the Puma family so early in my basketball journey,â Williams said in a written statement. “Puma really understands how to mix hoops and culture, two things that fascinate me.”
The 17-year-old joins a current Puma basketball roster of 25 athletes that includes WNBA headliners breanna stewart and Skylar Diggins-Smith, as well as NBA players such as Bal LaMelo, Kyle Kuzma, and Deandre Ayton.
A little over a month ago, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Williams is close to signing with Puma.
Sources: Puma is closing in on an endorsement deal with popular high school student Mikey Williams, a top-class 2023 prospect who uses the new name, image, and likeness rules.
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 28, 2021
Williams was reportedly seen playing sports LeMelo Ball’s signature shoe MB.01 in a bright red sneaker in recent games. He has also been seen playing in other Puma sneakers such as the Court Rider and the Fusion Nitro Spectra as he continues his junior high school basketball season.