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Steph Curry first NBA player to endorse college athlete under new rules

It looks like Connecticut women’s basketball player Azzi Fudd is entering her first year with a bang.

According to The Athletic/Afro Tech, the freshman guard has signed a name, image and likeness endorsement (NIL) deal with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The historic partnership, announced Wednesday, lands Curry as the first NBA player to endorse a college player under the new NIL rules.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) changes empower student-athletes by allowing them to gain exposure and earn profit for the first time. Other college athletes have since tapped in such as Tennessee State University basketball player Henry Miller, Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders and University if Miami’s D’Eriq King.

Specific terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. However, under the new partnership, Azzi Fudd will receive mentorship from Curry as he believes the player “is the next face of women’s basketball.

The new deal comes full circle for the duo. In 2018, Fudd was one of two high school girls selected by Curry to participate in an advanced camp featuring the top-five future picks.

“Azzi’s been part of the family for a minute now,” Curry said.“Knowing how she finished her high school career and what she’s doing at UConn, it speaks to everything that I’ve learned in terms of bridging opportunities that come off the court and basketball. This new NIL opportunity is kind of a new frontier for this generation. … I want to hopefully be a mentor and open up the doors that have been opened for me to her, and hopefully many more in the future.”

Fudd will have access to Curry’s investment firm SC30 Inc., which aims to disrupt industry norms by leveraging creativity across partnerships, media, investments and philanthropy.

Under the budding guide of Curry, the opportunities could be limitless. Fudd could tap into Under Armour, media company Unanimous, non-profit Eat.Learn.Play. and food chain, Subway, among others.