The Name, Image and Likeness recruiting advantage a prospect brings has not benefited Arizona as much as it has now with star point guard Jada Williams flipping her commitment Monday from UCLA in the lucrative Los Angeles market to Adia Barnes’ burgeoning program in Tucson.
Williams was the subject of a Sports Illustrated feature in February with this promo: “For Trailblazer Jada Williams, the Future Is Now. Expect Others to Follow.”
🐻⬇️ tucson what’s good?! pic.twitter.com/DmwNW0bapq
— Jada Williams💫 (@mrsmac0606) August 2, 2022
Although she is only entering her senior year at San Diego’s La Jolla Country Day School, Williams recently signed endorsement deals with Spalding (she appears in a commercial alongside Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard) and Dick’s Sporting Goods, among others. She is in store for bigger deals, according to the SI article, according to Marcus Crenshaw, founder and CEO of The Fam sports agency and marketing company, which represents Williams.
Williams, whose basketball talents match her charisma, is believed to be the first high school girls basketball player to sign with a national brand.
Her social media-follower tally: Instagram 634,000, Tik Tok 334,000 and Twitter 14,900.
“[My social media following] came about, really, I was just having fun. I was doing fun stuff in the gym and I just started posting it and people just started liking it,” Williams told SI. “That’s when Overtime women’s basketball, She Hoops Network and all that started, and they picked up on it and it kind of rose from there. I was having fun more than anything; I wasn’t trying to get all these followers. I was just being myself, having fun with the people that enjoyed seeing me, just interacting with people. It was fun for me—it’s still fun for me—that’s just what I love to do, I love to talk to people.”
Overtime produces her reality YouTube series, “Basketball is my Life.”
Williams, who is originally from Kansas City, posted a commitment video on social media from her visit over the weekend on Arizona’s campus.
“Every time I step on campus, I haven’t stopped smiling,” Williams said in the video. “Call it corny or whatever … I do feel like I’m at home, and I’m ready to be a Wildcat.”
Her future teammates and coaches celebrated with her wildly as confetti flew in the air. She yelled, “Let’s go!” and “Hit me up!” numerous times.
— College Football Hall of Fame (@cfbhall) June 17, 2022
Her Country Day teammate, Breya Cunningham, the No. 10-rated Class of 2023 prospect by ESPN, committed to Arizona in June.
Montaya Dew, the No. 9 player in the class who committed to Arizona from Las Vegas Centennial in December, was also in Tucson visiting the campus.
Williams joins Dew and Cunningham with verbal commitments from three of the top 20 players in the Class of 2023.
Williams, who is rated No. 20 in her class by ESPN, recently played for Team USA in the FIBA U17 World Cup in Hungary, where the Americans won the gold.
She averaged 4.4 points and 2.1 assists per game. With the Team USA U16 team last year, she averaged 11.7 points, 5.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.