Itâ€™s another first for Paige Bueckers as the UConn womenâ€™s basketball teamâ€™s guard has her second name, image, likeness deal.
Gatorade announced Monday that it had signed the reigning national Player of the Year to a multi-year deal, making the 20-year-old sophomore the companyâ€™s first NIL signing.
â€śIt was a blessing to win Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, and now itâ€™s truly surreal to be an official member of the Gatorade family,â€ť Bueckers said in .a statement. â€śI know this is just the beginning of our partnership and canâ€™t wait to get to work with Gatorade to drive impact in the community and on the womenâ€™s game.â€ť
Bueckersâ€™ other NIL deal was announced three weeks ago, a three-year partnership with StockX, which describes itself as â€śnot your typical e-commerce websiteâ€ť and as â€śa live marketplace for buying and selling limited edition sneakers, watches, handbags, and streetwear.â€ť It was founded in 2015.
No terms of her Gatorade deal were announced.
â€śAs 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,â€ť said Gatorade global head of sports marketing Jeff Kearney in a statement. â€śFrom 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.â€ť
Bueckers joins a Gatorade athlete roster that includes Serena Williams, Sydney McLaughlin, Elena Delle Donne, Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum and Trevor Lawrence.
The Minnesota native made history a season ago by being the first freshman to be named Associated Press Player of the Year and USBWA Player of Year and sweeping the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award as the nationâ€™s best player. As a freshman, she was ineligible for the other top national honor, the Wade Trophy.
Through four games as a sophomore, she is averaging 20.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. She had a career-high 34 points in the season-opening win over Arkansas on Nov. 14.
UConn (3-1) moved into a tie for second with North Carolina State (6-1) in the Associated Press poll released Monday behind unanimous No. 1 South Carolina.
Last weekâ€™s poll was delayed by one day as the Huskies and Gamecocks faced off in the Battle 4 Atlantis final on Nov. 22. UConn fell to No. 3 following its 73-57 loss.
South Carolina (8-0) received all 30 first-place votes for the second straight week. UConn and North Carolina State finished with 704 points. The Wolf Packâ€™s only loss is to South Carolina, 66-57 in Raleigh in the season-opener on Nov. 9.
Stanford (5-2) moved up three spots to No. 4 with 607 points with Baylor (6-1) fifth with 593 points.
Indiana, Arizona, Maryland, Iowa, and Louisville rounded out the top 10.
Georgia, Brigham Young, and Notre Dame joined the top 25 with UCLA, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech dropping out.
The Huskies return to action Friday for their Big East opener against Seton Hall at Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange, New Jersey.