Mikey Williams, 17, has signed a landmark deal with Puma, according to ESPN. The deal makes him the first U.S. high school basketball player to sign a sneakers deal with a global footwear company.
The deal comes as name, image and likeness agreements have become the norm in recent months for young athletes, including those in high school.
âI am thrilled to be joining the Puma family so early in my basketball journey,â said Williams. “Puma really understands how to mix the hoop and culture, two things that fascinate me.”
Williams, who is a 6-foot-2 junior at the new Vertical Academy in Charlotte, NC, is ranked 11th best prospect in his high school class by ESPN. Additionally, Williams is eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft.
âHis talent on the pitch and his ability to connect with young athletes and fans will help advance hoop culture and inspire the next generation of athletes,â said Adam Petrick, Global Brand & Director. marketing at Puma, in a statement.
The high school star has huge success on social media. He has over five million subscribers on popular social media platforms. Outside of the NBA, Williams publishes articles on hoops and the culture around the game.
âOutside of basketball, I see myself as a content creator,â Williams told Bloomberg. âSo I can consider working on different creative projects. I love to connect with people and want to keep finding ways to do it.
Williams’ soaring rise is not surprising given his management. It is led by Excel Sports under the leadership of Vice President and Agent Mike Davis, who has extensive experience working with NBA players like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
âThis one is special because it’s the first of its kind, and no other high school basketball athlete has a shoe contract with a global shoe brand,â Davis said, according to HBCU Game Day. âWhen Mikey signed with Excel, we approached the market as we would a professional athlete, and that paved the way for Mikey and the other NIL athletes.â