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Darryn Peterson Becomes First Adidas High School Signee

Peterson, a 6’5 combo guard at Canton, Ohio’s Huntington Prep is the first high school basketball player to ever sign with Adidas.

Adidas Basketball is betting big on the future basketball prospects of Darryn Peterson, the top-ranked guard in the class of 2025 at Canton, Ohio’s Huntington Prep. A 6’5 combo guard, Peterson is the first high school basketball player to ever sign with Adidas.

According to Boardroom, Peterson also carries around 30 D-1 scholarship offers into his junior year. Peterson sees this as a massive opportunity for him as he told Boardroom, “The deal gives me the opportunity to take my brand to the next level and spread it around the world.”

In 2003, along with Nike and Reebok, Adidas Basketball attempted to court another Ohio player, LeBron James. James, of course, rather famously chose Nike’s $87 million fully guaranteed contract over the other two, who, according to Andscape, offered contracts above $100 million. Like Peterson, James also received offers from over 30 college teams but ultimately decided to go straight to the NBA from high school, an option that Peterson currently does not have. Peterson could, however, choose to go the path that Houston Rockets star Jalen Green took and play for the G-League Ignite after he graduates instead of likely playing a year in college and declaring for the draft. 

NIL deals have significantly transformed the prospects of select high school players from a money standpoint, an idea that Peterson seems to grasp–at only 16 years old, he’s already referring to himself as a brand. Though most of the NIL attention has gone to college players like Angel Reese, Shedeur Sanders, and even gymnast Olivia Dunne, a few high school players with massive upsides have been inked to deals.

Juju Watkins, the USC freshman phenom who recently tied Lisa Leslie’s mark for 30-point games as a freshman with three, signed her Nike deal as a senior last year, as did fellow USC commit Bronny James and Kentucky commit D.J. Wagner. There is precedent for senior year deals, but this is the first major NIL deal from a shoe company for a player before their senior year of basketball. Peterson, like the other players, is an elite basketball player, the kind of basketball player who will see big NIL deals even though some states are slow to catch up. 

Peterson is grateful for the opportunity, as he told Boardroom, “It means a lot. For Adidas to choose me out of all the high school basketball players in the world? For them to take a chance on me is a big deal. It’s an honor and a blessing.”

He also understands that what got him here is continually delivering big nights, as he averaged 31 points and nine rebounds in his sophomore season.

Peterson’s advice for the next crop of up-and-coming basketball players is simple.

“Keep the main thing the main thing,” Peterson said. “Focus on whatever that dream is, and the business part will come with it. Don’t let that drive you. Stay humble and be self-motivated.”

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