IOWA CITY, Iowa — The face of women's college basketball resides in Iowa City, and she continues to transcend the sport on the court and off it. In a Monday press release, Nike announced it had signed Iowa superstar point guard Caitlin Clark to a name, image and likeness (NIL) sponsorship deal.
In total, Nike announced the signing of five student-athletes to their first NIL basketball class. Also joining the Nike basketball family are student-athletes Bronny James, Haley Jones, DJ Wagner and JuJu Watkins.
In the release, Clark said, “I grew up watching Nike athletes across all sports play their game. They have inspired me to work hard and make a difference. I’m humbled to be part of this first Nike basketball class and passionate about inspiring the next.”
All five players are being recognized as basketball student-athletes who're paving the way for the next generation of athletes, and motivating Nike, "to think about new ways the game can break barriers, bring people together, build community and shape the future."
"Caitlin wants to inspire young athletes to dream big on the court and in their communities. She will continue to elevate the future of women’s sports as part of her partnership with Nike," according to the release.
Joining Clark as a member of the Nike basketball family is the No. 41 prep basketball player in the 2023 class, Bronny James, the eldest son of Lebron James.
Clark's accolades are too many to list. She's won the Dawn Staley Award as the best guard in America for two consecutive seasons, the 2022 Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in America and multiple All-American honors, including unanimous first-team status last season.
Clark finished last season leading the country in points per game (27.0), assists per game (8.0), total points (863), free throws made (200), triple-doubles (5) and 30-point games (11). She was the first Division 1 women's basketball player to lead the country in both points and assists per game in a single season.
Etching her name into record books at a relentless pace, the West Des Moines native is becoming arguably the greatest basketball player to ever put on an Iowa jersey.
In January, Clark joined Kobe Bryant, Luka Dončić, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden as the only NBA, WNBA, or collegiate basketball players to record back-to-back 30-point triple-doubles since 2000. She's the first player in Division 1 history, women's or men's, to record back-to-back 30-point triple-doubles.
Last week, coaches and media chose Clark as the 2022-23 preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. Clark and the Hawkeyes kick off their season with a home exhibition against Nebraska-Kearney on Oct. 28.
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