by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17

As we announced a few hours ago, Derrick Williams has signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour.

Having taken this exciting news public and preparing for a flight to the Philippines where he’ll join the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose on a four-day tour of the basketball-crazed nation, an excited Derrick jumped on the phone with us to share his thoughts about teaming up with Under Armour.

“This is the first big deal I’ve ever signed, and it’s a shoe deal, so it’s real important to me and everyone I’m close to,” the 6-9 forward says. “As soon as I declared for the Draft and signed with an agent [Rob Pelinka, who reps Kobe and many others], Under Armour started to put a lot of focus on me. They said they wanted two players from this class and went real hard after me and Kemba Walker.”

One of the big things for Williams, who had worn exclusively Nikes since the 9th grade until he started the process of feeling out brands to sign with, is the chance to get a signature shoe. “After I declared for the Draft and started hearing from the different companies, I spent a week with each of their shoes,” says Williams, who was the second pick in the Draft and will play for the Timberwolves once the lockout is over. “I was mostly wearing Brandon Jennings’ stuff from Under Armours and they were real comfortable. Then we talked more and we started talking about what I like in a shoe and how we can make that happen in the future. That’s probably half the reason I signed with them: the chance to give an opinion on the shoes and get my own.

“Growing up, I had a lot of goals in basketball, and one of them was to have my own shoe. Now that can happen. I’ve made a lot of my other dreams happen and hopefully I can keep making them come true.”

With that, the “RealDwill7” is off to finish prepping for his trip, which will feature him rocking a lot of UA gear. “Oh yeah, I already have crazy amounts of their stuff,” he says with a laugh. “And from today forward, that’s what I’ll be wearing.”