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UConn star Paige Bueckers: Nike NIL deal is ‘dream come true’

(G Fiume/Getty Images)

Paige Bueckers is officially a Nike athlete.

The UConn basketball guard has signed a deal with the shoe and apparel company, she revealed Wednesday. According to ESPN, the deal is a multiyear commitment and could extend into her pro career.

In a statement, Bueckers said she is “blessed and honored” to announce the partnership.

“Joining the Nike family is a childhood dream come true,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together on and off the court.”

Ahead of the season, Nike has tabbed Bueckers as one of the faces of its new GT Hustle sneaker. The Hustle 2, part of the “Greater Than” series, features molded insoles and a full-length foam underfoot for comfort when running.

Bueckers is set to make her return this season at UConn after missing last season with an ACL tear. Through 46 career games with the Huskies, she’s averaged 18.0 points and 5.1 assists. While she was cleared to resume playing last month, she did not compete in the Huskies’ overseas exhibition tour in August.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said last month that Bueckers is the “best she’s ever been” since her return.

“This is the best she’s ever been, the strongest she’s ever been, the fittest she’s ever been,” he told reporters. “This is the most time she has spent working on her body, her mind, [and] just taking care of herself. … [The injury layoff] showed her, if you want a long career, this is how you’re gonna have to go about it from here on in injuries, no injuries, it doesn’t matter. This is what you’re gonna have to do. And she’s embraced it.”