By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
RJ Hampton previously signed with the New Zealand Breakers instead of playing college basketball. He now has signed a shoe contract.
The 18-year-old has now signed a five-year endorsement deal with Li-Ning. They are a Chinese company that makes athletic shoes and sporting goods.
“They’re just a great company,” Hampton said. “They’ve put a lot of work in with me, and they’re really been behind me these last couple of months, ever since I made my decision [to play in the NBL}.”
He is expected to be a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Depending on where he is selected, Hampton can receive additional money through this deal.
According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, if Hampton is selected in the Top 10 of the 2020 NBA Draft, he’ll have the richest deal a rookie player has received from Li-Ning.
Wade previously left Jordan Brand for Li-Ning. In 2018, he signed a lifetime deal with the company.
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is also part of their company’s endorsed athletes. McCollum’s former teammate Evan Turner — who was traded by the Trail Blazers to the Atlanta Hawks in the off-season — is also with Li-Ning.
Former Detroit Pistons player José Calderón is with Li-Ning. In addition, Glen Robinson III — who signed with the Golden State Warriors in the off-season — is also with the company.
Former athletes also include Baron Davis and Damon Jones. They also endorse Cleanthony Early, who previously played in the NBA.
“I really like their shoes,” Hampton said. “[With] CJ and Dwyane Wade, it’s going to be great.