Sabrina Ionescu, who earlier Friday night was taken with the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, announced that she has signed a shoe deal with Nike. The agreement is a multi-year agreement, according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula.
Ionescu – who was a three-time first-team All-American and is the only player in college basketball history to finish with at least 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists – was also launched by competing brands Under Armor and Puma. . Two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, who has a signature shoe with Under Armour, was helping lead recruiting efforts to try to convince Ionescu to join him.
“I have a great relationship with Steph and so that part is quite difficult,” Ionescu previously told NBC Sports. “Because I’ve been with Nike for 10 years. And then Puma is also booming. So there’s a lot of pros and cons to each of them. And so it’s a bit difficult to try to figure out who I want to go with and what would be the best fit.”
Ionescu wore Nike during his high school career and later in Oregon, where Nike co-founder Phil Knight is a major athletic department donor.
It’s unclear whether or not Ionescu will get his own signature shoe, something no current WNBA player has. Former players, such as Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper and Rebecca Lobo, have, by NBC Sports’ Logan Murdockand Ionescu hopes to get the same opportunity.
“I think before all of this happened I never thought about it because I didn’t even think it was a possibility because women don’t usually have designer shoes,” said Ionescu. “And then I think listening to a lot of these companies and the goals and visions they had of having a signature shoe down the line, I was like, ‘Oh, actually, that would be pretty cool. And I feel like a lot of people would want to buy that shoe and wear it.”