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With March Madness Here, Jordan Brand Signs LSU Women’s College Basketball Star Mikaylah Williams

March Madness is underway, and Jordan Brand has signed one of the tournament’s most promising stars to a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal.

The namesake brand of NBA icon Michael Jordan announced Friday that it has added LSU guard Mikaylah Williams to its star-studded athlete roster. “When I think of MJ, I see his unwavering determination and work ethic, qualities I also pride myself on. As the saying goes, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard,’ and that resonates deeply with me,” Williams said in a statement.

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At the start of the month, Williams was named 2024 SEC Freshman of the Year. With this deal, Williams said in a statement that she hopes to “push boundaries, inspire and elevate the game” alongside Jordan Brand.

“Signing with the Jordan Brand is an incredible opportunity and a blessing because it allows me to inspire young girls and contribute to the growth of women’s basketball, marking another milestone achieved in my journey,” she said in a statement.

Other Jordan Brand NIL athletes include UCLA women’s college basketball star Kiki Rice and high school hoops phenom Kiyomi McMiller.

Although Williams is the latest rising women’s college basketball star to ink a NIL deal, she is not the only one on her team with big brand backing. Flau’jae Johnson, for instance, is a Puma athlete, and Angel Reese signed with Reebok in October 2023.

The tournament for Williams and LSU, entering the tournament as a No. 3 seed, starts on Friday when the team faces No. 14 seed Rice at 4 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPN.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at peter.verry@footwearnews.com.

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