Gatorade has signed college basketball's most dominant player, Paige Bueckers, as its first NIL athlete
UConn Huskiessuperstar Paige Bueckersis Gatorade's first-ever college athlete signing.
- NIL now allows college athletes to partner with brands without sacrificing their NCAA eligibility.
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Gatorade has signed the NCAA's brightest star as its first-ever college athlete ambassador.
And her name is Paige Bueckers.
Bueckers — who earned Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors for the 2019-2020 season — is one of many athletes taking full advantage of the change at the collegiate level.
"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, per the company. "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."
A superstar point guard who became women's college basketball's first-ever freshman consensus Player of the Year last season, Bueckers is looking to lead the Huskies back to the Final Four for a shot at their first NCAA title since 2016. Early in the season, she ranks top-20 nationwide in points and assists per game as well as assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Minnesota native was a natural pick to become Gatorade's first NCAA signing, even with quarterbacks from college football's top programs and future NBA All-Stars ripe for the picking.
"As a former Gatorade Player of the Year and one of the top college athletes playing today, Paige Bueckers is the perfect addition to the Gatorade Family," Gatorade Global Head of Sports Marketing Jeff Kearney said. "From her electrifying performances on the court to fueling change off of it, Paige exemplifies everything it means to be a Gatorade athlete, and partnering with her is a statement to the next generation of our continued commitment to women in sport."
Bueckers is in stellar company on Gatorade's athlete roster. She joins an impressive group of women who have previously signed on with the brand, including tennis legend Serena Williams, USA Track & Field star Sydney McLaughlin, and two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne.
The 20-year-old star is likely to team up with those legends in her work with Gatorade, and she "can't wait to get started."
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