Former Memphis Tiger Will Barton has signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Under Armour, he announced via his Twitter page Wednesday.
Barton, who averaged 18 points and 8.0 rebounds per game this past season for the Tigers on his way to winning Conference USA Player of the Year, was drafted 40th overall by the Portland Trailblazers in this year’s NBA draft.
Under Armour is a Baltimore-based company that has strong ties to the Washington D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, meaning Barton’s signing digs those roots in further.
Barton is a native of Baltimore who starred for Lake Clifton (Md.) before moving to Brewster Academy (N.H.) for his senior season.
Barton is added to an Under Armour lineup that is headlined by Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, along with Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker, and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams.
Greivis Vasquez, a former guard at Maryland, is also under the UA umbrella, as is his alma mater. Under Armour has made in-roads on the grassroots basketball scene, as well, with their logo adorning the jerseys of prominent AAU teams that include DC Assault, UA Baltimore’s Finest, and Sports U (N.J.).
Outside of the basketball court, the company has signed a deal with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who also hails from Baltimore.
As for Barton, he signed a three-year deal with the Blazers on July 18 and played well for the team during Summer League competition.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_