High school basketball star Mikey Williams has become the first prep player to sign with a major sports management firm with the aim of pursuing NIL deals.
Williams signed with Excel Sports, which will seek to place Williams with various name, image and likeness endorsements.
According to SI.com, Williams already has a large social-media following, which will allow him to cash in on numerous opportunities.
"The NIL rules provide a new opportunity for someone like me who that has put in so much energy and effort into building a community," Williams told ESPN in a statement. "I am excited to be the first high school athlete to make this move. I love to hoop and I love engaging with my fans and look forward to continuing to share my journey with everyone."
Williams, is the No. 5 player in the class of 2023, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He will not be eligible for the NBA Draft until 2024.
The move comes after the National Federation of State High School Associations earlier this month said that the NCAA’s adoption of new NIL policies do not apply to high school athletes.
“Current high school student-athletes CANNOT earn money as a result of their connection to their high school team,” NFHS executive director Karissa Niehoff wrote in a lengthy piece addressing the issue. “Already, in less than a week, we have seen articles suggesting that high school athletes should likewise be able to earn money from their NIL. Our member state associations have rules in place that prohibit student-athletes from receiving money in any form that is connected to wearing their school uniform.”
Williams plays at Lake Norman High School in North Carolina and as such, his ability to profit off his name, image and likeness would be decided by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's rules on the matter.