**FILE** Kiki Rice (All Pro Reels via Wikimedia Commons)
**FILE** Kiki Rice (All Pro Reels via Wikimedia Commons)

Kiki Rice, a former basketball star at D.C.’s Sidwell Friends and the 2022 Naismith High School Player of the Year, recently signed a first-of-its-kind shoe deal with Jordan Brand.

Rice, an incoming freshman guard at UCLA, is the first NIL (name, image, likeness) athlete to sign with the Jordan Brand. The deal means Rice can make money while playing in college, company officials said.

“Being Jordan Brand’s first NIL athlete is an incredible milestone, and I think it’s a testament to the hard work I’ve put in and all the people around me who have helped me get to this point,” Rice said, WJLA-TV (Channel 7) reported. “Signing with the Jordan Brand is another motivating factor for me to continue to work hard and achieve my goals.”

The company will collaborate with Rice on ways to serve the local community and focus on gender equity in sports for young girls, a passion of hers.

“Being an athlete, I experienced firsthand a lot of inequity, and I think leveling the playing field between boys and girls at a young age is something that I’m really passionate about in terms of helping bridge the gap,” Rice said, WJLA reported.

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