Anthony Davis signs endorsement deal with Nike

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Nike, king of the basketball shoe world with its 95-percent market share, has just inked another top draft pick, signing No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis to a lucrative endorsement deal, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

Davis is coming off a stellar freshman season at Kentucky, winning a national title, national player of the year award, and national freshman of the year award.

Nike has now signed three of the last five top overall picks, but Davis differs from the last No. 1 pick to come from Kentucky, John Wall, who signed with Reebok.

Davis’ teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who went second overall in the 2012 draft to Charlotte, is also a member of Team Nike, having signed in May. Kentucky itself is one of Nike’s most prominent schools branded with the signature swoosh.

Another John Calipari player stands in contrast to Davis in the logo war, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who signed with adidas in 2008 and recently signed a deal with the company worth a reported $200 million over 13 years.

Davis won’t be seeing that kind of money from Nike, at least not yet, but joins 2011 top pick Kyrie Irving on the Nike roster.

Though he has yet to play a game at the professional level, Davis will take the court for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics later this month, following Blake Griffin’s knee injury.

He may not be a key contributor in Team USA’s pursuit of gold, but he adds another defensive weapon for coach Mike Krzyzewski to have off the bench.

Oh, and another side note that binds Davis and Nike, Team USA will also happen to be adorning the swoosh in London.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.