Li-Ning Basketball has come to terms on endorsement deals with NBA rookies Cleanthony Early and Glenn Robinson III.
After starring at Wichita State, Early was selected 34th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. The 6-8 forward, who is also from New York, is known for his tenacity and all-around game. He is expected to play behind All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
Robinson III, son of former NBA player Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, played two seasons at the University of Michigan. As a freshman, the 6-6 forward appeared in the NCAA Championship game. As an encore, he averaged 13.1 ppg and 4.4 rpg as a sophomore. This past June, he was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 40th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
“We could not be more thrilled to add Cleanthony and Glenn to the Li-Ning family,” Jon Pastuszek, International Basketball Marketing Manager at Li-Ning, China, emailed SLAM. “These two young, talented, exciting, high-character and global-minded athletes are perfect fits within our selection criteria, and both are natural, authentic representatives of our core ‘Make the Change’ and ‘Play Free’ philosophy.”
Their signings mark the first time that Li-Ning Basketball, which is part of the Beijing-based Li-Ning, has simultaneously worked with two players from the same Draft class. More than that, Early and Robinson expand Li-Ning Basketball’s NBA roster from one (Evan Turner) to three.
“We are eagerly looking forward,” emails Pastuszek, “to working alongside these two in helping them achieve their on- and off-court goals by continuously working to prove the quality of our product, our specialized player service package, and the tremendous opportunities that the China basketball market currently presents.”
To be clear, Li-Ning Basketball and the Wade Brand are both run by parent company Li-Ning. They are, however, two separate entities that do not share athletes or apparel. So while Early and Robinson join Turner at Li-Ning Basketball, which also endorses the Chinese Basketball Association, they will not be working with Dwyane Wade, or any other Wade Brand endorsers, such as Udonis Haslem, Will Bynum or Dorell Wright.
Early and Robinson are expected to wear the Li-Ning Speed to start the upcoming season.
Their contracts with Li-Ning Basketball were previously announced at a press conference in China.
Photos courtesy of Li-Ning Basketball.