BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Under Armour has endorsed Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. The Baltimore sports gear company reportedly signed Embiid to a five-year footwear and apparel deal.
ESPN reports industry sources told him the average annual value is expected to make him the highest-paid center in the league.
Embiid released a statement to the Under Armour website announcing the deal Wednesday.
“This is about more than just basketball,” the statement read. “Today, I’m joining the Under Armour family, but I’m not trying to sell you sneakers right now.”
The statement chronicled how Embiid made his way from Cameroon to the NBA in just three years. It included the story of his younger brother who passed away in a car accident just a few months after the center was drafted back in 2014.
Embiid reflected on the character of his brother, who was always giving to others even at 13-years-old. He said he wants to make his brother proud.
“When I sat down with Under Armour, one of the first things we talked about was how this can be bigger than just shoes, bigger than just basketball,” he said in the statement.