As the basketball season continues to heat up, Nike is again making headlines within the name, image, and likeness landscape.
The brand signed two of the nation’s most talented high school athletes — AJ Dybantsa of Prolific Prep, the top-ranked men’s basketball player in the class of 2025 according to 247Sports.com, and Jerzy Robinson of Sierra Canyon, the top-ranked women’s basketball player in the class of 2026 per ESPN’s HoopGurlz. Robinson joins USC’s JuJu Watkins and Bronny James, who signed with Nike during their time at Sierra Canyon.
Dybantsa, who holds offers from Baylor, North Carolina, and Kentucky, is projected by many to be the No. 1 pick in the 2026 NBA Draft. The forward expressed tremendous excitement when reflecting on the inspiration behind Nike’s brand and how it has shaped him as an athlete.
“Joining the Nike basketball family is huge,” Dybantsa said in a press release. “When I was asked, it was a no-brainer. Growing up, watching people that inspired me to wear Nike — to now being part of the same team is an opportunity I don’t take for granted. I can’t wait to see what we can mix up on and off the court.”
With a high school athlete of Dybansta’s caliber aligning himself with Nike, many anticipate his college choice will be a Nike-affiliated institution. The University of Kentucky, a school under the Nike imprint, stands out as a prominent option. Kentucky already has D.J. Wagner, who, like Dybansta, signed with the brand in high school. Adding a personal touch, Dybansta is inspired by the great Kentucky guard and Boston native Terrance Clarke, who tragically passed away in 2021.
Jerzy Robinson is a budding phenom in her own right. The guard was the 2023 Arizona Player of the Year and was the driving force behind the 2023 FIBA Americas U16 team winning gold. What made the gold medal run even more special was that she earned MVP honors at 14 years old, becoming the youngest player to ever do so. Robinson transferred to Sierra Canyon for her sophomore year and looks to follow in the footsteps of women’s basketball excellence at Sierra Canyon.
Adding Dybansta and Robinson to Nike’s NIL roster reinforces the organization’s ability to identify athletes who will change the game on and off the court. Aside from demonstrating prowess on the court, these additions are poised to make an impact on both culture and sports.