Adidas is definitely trying to rival Nike in the basketball sneaker market and they are hoping many of this year’s top NBA draft prospects join team Adidas and strengthen their case. While the NBA draft is still about two months away, Adidas has already locked up on of the top prospects, Dante Exum. He becomes the first potential lottery pick to sign a major sneaker deal and Adidas is hoping he is the first of many to join the team.
Exum could potentially become a top three pick in this year’s draft. The 6’6″ point guard from Australia is only 18 years old and although he did not compete in division 1 college basketball, he is slated to become a very good player. His combination of size and athleticism is making some general managers drool. Exum definitely has the potential to become an elite level point guard, but not many have heard of him because he lives in Australia.
Adidas has recently garnered an impressive group of point guards in the last few years. Most recently they have launched a “Quick Ain’t Fair” campaign which features John Wall, Damian Lillard, and Jrue Holiday. Other Adidas athletes include Derrick Rose, Ricky Rubio, Goran Dragic, and Mike Conley Jr. Rose has been the poster child the last several years, but Lillard just signed a monster contract with Adidas, so that could quickly change. Exum is now the newest member of the exclusive Adidas point guard team and if he lives up to expectations, Adidas will be glad they signed him first.
Here is the full press release from Adidas:
ADIDAS SIGNS TOP 2014 NBA DRAFT PROSPECT DANTÉ EXUMPORTLAND, Ore. (April 17, 2014) – adidas today announced a partnership with Australian NBA Draft prospect Danté Exum. The 18-year-old, 6-foot-6-inch combo guard is projected to be one of the top picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. Exum brings a unique skill set and background to one of the most highly touted draft classes in recent years.“I’m really excited to join the adidas family,” said Exum. “I’ve had the opportunity to play in adidas Nations in the past and I’ve always liked their shoes and gear. I look forward to what’s to come for me and adidas.”A graduate of the prestigious Australian Institute of Sport, Exum’s career includes a gold medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship and silver medal finish in the 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championships. Exum also participated in the adidas Nations program in 2011 and 2012, leading Australia to a fourth place finish in 2012. Exum grew up with strong basketball roots, his father Cecil Exum was a member of the 1982 University of North Carolina NCAA National Championship team before playing professional basketball in Australia.“Danté is a gifted player,” said Chris Grancio, adidas head of global basketball sports marketing. “His hard work ethic and play have made him successful at every level of competition, but what makes him special is his great attitude and unselfish team approach to the game.”Exum joins a group of elite adidas basketball point-guards highlighted by Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. He will be featured in a variety of upcoming adidas initiatives and will play a role in the development of basketball footwear and apparel.Other adidas athletes include Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets, WNBA MVP Candace Parker and four-time FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi FC Barcelona.About adidas
adidas has been providing innovative products for the world’s best athletes for more than 60 years, from past legends to today’s superstars, such as Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Candace Parker, Tim Duncan and Damian Lillard. adidas outfits the best basketball players in the world as the official uniform and apparel provider for the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (D-League) along with top collegiate basketball programs including Kansas, Baylor, Michigan, Louisville and Wisconsin.