Li Ning, the Chinese sporting goods giant, signed RJ Hampton, a projected lottery selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, to an endorsement deal, according to ESPN.
Hampton decided to forgo college and join the Australia-based National Basketball League and play professionally in New Zealand. The 6-foot-5 point guard, who had been one of the top-ranked recruits in the Class of 2019, is currently projected as the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA draft by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
A Hampton signature shoe will come out this fall.
The face of Li Ning has been Dwyane Wade, who was Li-Ning’s marquee signing in 2012, and in 2018, Wade inked a lifetime deal with the brand. Wade retired last season. C.J. McCollum, the star guard of Portland Trail Blazers, is the most visible active NBA player wearing Li-Ning.
“R.J. looks up to D-Wade and recently spent some time with CJ McCollum, who loves the brand and the personal service it provides,” Hampton’s father Rod Hampton told USA Today Sports. “He sees how well they have been treated and wants to be the next great guard in the Li Ning family.”