May 18, 2011: Maya Moore, one of the top players in women's college basketball history, is set to make history as a pro.
Moore has signed a deal with Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, which operates under the auspices of hoops legend Michael Jordan.
Moore is the first female basketball player signed by Jordan Brand, which dates back to the 1980s.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Analysts said the deal could be in the $3-$4 million per year range.
In addition to its namesake star, Jordan Brand's roster includes Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Derek Jeter and Andre Johnson.
Like the others, Moore is expected to be featured in multi-media marketing. A signature shoe may also arise, although that was not discussed.
Parent company Nike is well endowed with stars from the WNBA, including Becky Hammon, Sue Bird, Laurne Jackson, Tamika Catchings and Alana Beard.
Moore was the No. 1 overall pick during the WNBA's 2011 draft by the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx were 13-21 last season.
Moore also is being featured in marketing to support the WNBA's upcoming 15th anniversary season.
“As a student of the game, it is a dream come true to align myself with a brand that has a rich history in sports,” Moore said in a statement. “Like most kids, I grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and continue to work relentlessly to reach his iconic status on the court. I’m truly motivated to take my career to the next level as a member of Team Jordan.”
Moore led the University of Connecticut Huskies to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2009 and 2010. During her tenure at the University, the Huskies had a 150-4 record, including an NCAA Division I basketball record 90-game win streak.
“Like most kids, I grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and continue to work relentlessly to reach his iconic status on the court."
According to Michael Jordan, “I am thrilled to welcome Maya Moore into the Jordan Brand. Not only has Maya proven to be a prolific winner on the court, but her hunger and determination to make an impact off the court makes her a valuable addition to the Jordan family. We look forward to working with Maya as she carries her success to the next level.”