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UCLA’s Kiki Rice Becomes First Jordan Brand NIL Athlete

Kiki Rice, the No. 1-ranked point guard in the class of 2022, is coming off a 28-0 season in high school and plans to help pave a way for more female representation in sports.

UCLA Bruins women’s basketball freshman Kiki Rice is officially a Jordan athlete.

The reigning Gatorade National Girls Player of the Year and No. 2 recruit in the country made history on Monday, becoming Jordan Brand’s first-ever college athlete signed to an NIL deal. The 5’11 point guard cemented herself as a phenom in high school after leading Sidwell Friends to an undefeated season, complete with a second state championship win and Naismith High School Trophy Player of the Year honors.

“Being Jordan Brand’s first NIL athlete is an incredible milestone, and I think it’s a testament to the hard work I’ve put in and all the people around me who have helped me get to this point,” Rice said in a statement. “Signing with the Jordan Brand is another motivating factor for me to continue to work hard and achieve my goals.”

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Rice most recently made noise on the international circuit with USA Basketball. In June, the San Francisco-born athlete led the US U18 team to a gold medal in the 2022 FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship in Argentina. Rice averaged 14.3 points, four rebounds and four assists per game, picking up MVP accolades at the tournament’s conclusion.

As a Jordan Brand athlete, Rice will work with the company on programs that benefit her community and passions, like helping improve gender equality in sport for young girls. 

From UCLA’s side, the Bruins are no strangers to NIL trailblazers. Last December, women’s soccer player Reilyn Turner became the first-ever Nike athlete signed to an NIL deal.

Earlier this month, Nike announced five more NIL signings. Among those joining The Swoosh as ambassadors include Sierra Canyon guard Bronny James and Iowa junior star Caitlin Clark.

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