Basketball phenom Maya Moore can claim another first: Nike's Jordan Brand says it has signed her as its first female basketball player.
Moore, a two-time NCAA Women's Basketball National Champion and college basketball's all-time leader in games won as a player, is one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of college athletics. She led the University of Connecticut Huskies to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2009 and 2010, taking the team to a 150-4 record, including an NCAA Division I basketball record 90-game win streak.
She joins such Jordan athletes as Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Derek Jeter, with his own signature line. Last month, Brand Jordan announced it had added Dwayne Wade, and that its new Jordan Fly Wade would be just 13 ounces, making it the lightest Jordan basketball shoe yet.
"Not only has Maya proven to be a prolific winner on the court," Michael Jordan says in the company's release, "but her hunger and determination to make an impact off the court makes her a valuable addition to the Jordan family. We look forward to working with Maya as she carries her success to the next level."
Moore, 21 and a Georgia native, was recently named the top overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft by the Minnesota Lynx. The 6-foot-tall forward is estimated to be earning between $3 million and $4 million, according to NYSportsJournalism.com, and is expected to appear in marketing and advertising for the brand.
In its most recent results, Nike reported third-quarter revenues of $5.1 billion -- up 7% from the prior year, with an 11% increase in future orders. Forbes estimates Brand Jordan generates $1 billion per year in sales.