Nike signed five high school and college athletes to name image likeness deals Monday.
Not bad for an 18th birthday present.
The younger James, who turned 18 last week, was one of four high school and college athletes to sign deals with the athletic footwear and apparel maker.
“For as long as I can remember, Nike’s been a part of my family,” Bronny James said in a statement, according to ESPN. “Getting a 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.”
The high school senior is being recruited by some of the biggest schools in the country.
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Nike can sign Bronny to an endorsement deal thanks to Alston vs. NCAA, the amateur athlete payment case that reached the Supreme Court in 2021.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the most vociferous critic of the NCAA in the Court’s 9-0 ruling.
“Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. … The NCAA is not above the law,” Kavanaugh said.
Prior to the ruling, signing with Nike would have voided Bronny’s eligibility to play college sports. He would have had to play overseas if he wanted to go pro thanks to the NBA Draft age limit of 19 that has been in place since 2005.
However, there are reports that the league is considering lowering the limit to 18 as soon as 2024.