Daily Sports Smile: UConn star Paige Bueckers becomes first collegiate athlete to sign NIL deal with Gatorade
UConn women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers continues to make history on the hardwood. Last season, Bueckers became the first freshman woman to win the John Wooden Award as nation’s top women’s collegiate basketball player.
Now, Bueckers has secured another accolade.
Bueckers agreed to a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with Gatorade. She joins the iconic brand as the first NCAA athletic partner. Gatorade has an elite roster of endorsers that includes Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Zion Williamson among others.
Gatorade made the announcement this week. They also released a special video to welcome Bueckers to the brand.
“I won National Gatorade Player of the Year in high school and that is when our relationship kind of started,” Bueckers said in the video. “Now to be an actual Gatorade athlete is surreal to me. It is amazing to me and such a blessing. I can’t wait to get started.”
This is another major endorsement for Bueckers. She also agreed to an NIL deal with sneaker company StockX in November.
Bueckers has shined since arriving at UConn. She quickly became a top NCAA star with several standout performances as a freshman. As a result, Bueckers was named 2021 AP Player of the Year, 2021 Naismith Trophy Winner and a first-team All-American.
This season, she has continued her terrific pace. Bueckers is averaging 20.5 points, 6.5 assists and five rebounds on 55% shooting.