UConn's Paige Bueckers signs historic NIL deal with Gatorade

·2 min read
Paige Bueckers Uconn blue warm up gear arkansas
Paige Bueckers Uconn blue warm up gear arkansas

UConn star guard Paige Bueckers has signed a multi-year name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with Gatorade, becoming the first collegiate player to sign with the 57-year-old company.

The monumental endorsement deal was broken by Bueckers herself on social media Monday writing, “Blessed to officially become part of the Gaorade family.” Bueckers was named the 2019-20 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year, which awards players for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and character on and off the court, as a senior at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn.

"It was a blessing to win Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, and now it's truly surreal to be an official member of the Gatorade Family," Bueckers said in a press release. "I know this is just the beginning of our partnership and can't wait to get to work with Gatorade to drive impact in the community and on the women's game."

The Gatorade deal is Bueckers’ second major NIL deal, the first was when the sophomore signed with StockX three weeks ago. She joins other athletes like Serena Williams and Lionel Messi as being endorsed by Gatorade.

The NCAA changed its policy regarding NIL deals this summer, which allows athletes to better make money from their image or name. This is a stark change from decades of not allowing college athletes to earn money from their likeness and performance.

Bueckers took the collegiate basketball world by storm in her freshman year at UConn. She was named Big East Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year last season after leading her team in scoring, assists and steals. She averaged 20 points, five rebounds and close to six assists a game en route to a Final Four appearance.

Through four games in her sophomore year, Bueckers is averaging 20.5 points, five rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game for the No. 2-ranked Huskies.

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