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Paige Bueckers becomes first college athlete to sign with Gatorade under NIL rights

The UConn guard lands a major sponsor, and with three seasons remaining in Storrs she has time to become the face of a brand.

UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers returns up court against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

A former Gatorade National Player of The Year in high school is now an officially endorsed Gatorade spokesperson while in college, as Paige Bueckers of the UConn Huskies is now the first-ever NCAA athlete, male or female, to represent the brand while still in school.

Bueckers led UConn to the Final Four game last season as the Huskies leading scorer as a freshman, but fell to Arizona in the semifinals for only their second loss of the season. This year the Huskies have lost 73-57 to South Carolina already, and might need more help inside for Bueckers to reach her goal of bringing another title to Storrs.

What might be interesting here is how Bueckers interacts with the NCAA’s official sponsor of Coca-Cola and Powerade during the NCAA Tournament. Players are famously only allowed to drink from paper cups that have an approved brand on them, and the towels given out on the sidelines also often have the logo.

We’ll see if Gatorade continues to add athletes both male and female to their roster. Perhaps a deal where the Gatorade Player of The Year ends up with an automatic endorsement from the company upon entering college?