Five-star prep point guard Dylan Harper announced his commitment to Rutgers on Wednesday, not in a high school gym, but at Fanatics headquarters in New York, where he not only pledged his allegiance to the Scarlet Knights but also signed an endorsement contract with the sports commerce giant.
Harper chose Rutgers over powerhouse college programs including Kansas and Duke, and became the first athlete to stage a college commitment event at Fanatics, which is planning to release at least five Harper-related collectible products next year.
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“I just want to be special and do something that nobody has ever done,” Harper said in an interview. “And I had a great opportunity to do it here [at Fanatics].”
In some ways, though, Harper is following in family footsteps. Harper’s brother, Ron Jr., now with the Toronto Raptors and its G League affiliate, played at Rutgers, while his father Ron had a standout NBA career, winning three NBA championship rings with the Chicago Bulls and two more with the Los Angeles Lakers.
While Fanatics is tying itself to a potential future NBA star, the standout at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey secures a major name, image and likeness deal before he even steps on a college court. The HQ event, which company ambassador Jalen Rose hosted, was broadcast on Overtime, a Fanatics partner.
Harper, one of the final five-star recruits from the 2024 class to make his commitment, is the latest basketball star to sign a multiyear deal with Fanatics, following behind Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson and San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama. Darryn Peterson, one of the top recruits in the 2025 class who plays at West Virginia’s Huntington Prep, also signed a deal with the company.
“It would be fun for me to see them through the cycle from senior to [potentially] a Hall of Famer,” Fanatics head of athlete partnerships Omar Wilkes said in an interview. “Our goal is to make them lifelong partners.”
Harper will have his image featured on trading cards and collectibles through the new partnership, and…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/prep-star-dylan-harper-picks-003218709.html
Author : Sportico
Publish date : 2023-12-07 00:32:18
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