by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17
As we’d been hearing whispers of for several weeks, No. 2 pick Derrick Williams out of the University of Arizona has officially signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour. We should have exclusive quotes and photographs up later today, but here’s the official release from UA:
Baltimore, MD (July 20, 2011) –Under Armour (NYSE:UA), the leading performance apparel and footwear brand, today announced a multi-year partnership with the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year and incoming NBA rookie Derrick Williams. Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the second-overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Williams joins Kemba Walker as the newest member of the Under Armour Basketball team.
The 6-foot-8 Williams, who declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore year at Arizona, averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and shot 56 percent from 3-point range to lead the Wildcats to the 2011 NCAA tournament Elite 8.
“Derrick had a terrific college career and emerged as an absolute force on the sport’s biggest stage,” said Matt Mirchin, Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing, Under Armour. “We love Derrick’s passion and hunger to play better every time he steps on the court. He’s a great representation for the Under Armour brand and a terrific example to all young basketball players who are dedicated to becoming game-changers.”
After winning the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award in 2010, Williams raised his game to the next level in 2011, receiving finalist honors for the John R. Wooden Award and a second-team All-American selection. He excelled in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, helping the Arizona Wildcats reach the Elite 8 with a 32-point and 13-rebound performance in the regional finals.
“It’s exciting to join a young brand that brings such a strong, new voice and look to the game,” said Williams. “Under Armour is a great fit for me because they are just as passionate as I am about working hard and striving to be the best.”
Williams is slated to be part of Under Armour’s 2011 marketing campaigns and joins Walker, Brandon Jennings and Grievis Vasquez in Under Armour Basketball’s team of young, hungry NBA talent.