BY ASHLEY MACKIN-SOLOMON
OCT. 20, 2021 2 PM PT
La Jolla Country Day School point guard Jada Williams has signed a multiyear partnership with Spalding to become the sporting goods maker’s latest brand ambassador for both basketball equipment and sportswear.
Jada, 16, has a long list of accolades, including participating in the Junior NBA Championship this year, being selected to serve on the Junior NBA Court of Leaders and, most recently, playing for the United States in the FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship tournament, in which she was named to the all-tournament team and won her first gold medal.
She said she feels “very blessed and excited” to add brand ambassador to her list. In that role, “I want to help grow the game and help build excitement for the next generation,” she said.
Jada, a basketball player since first grade, said she loves “everything about the game.”
“I used to carry a little basketball around everywhere, even at 2 years old,” she said. “It is hard to explain, but when I am holding a ball, I am happy. I love how no matter what is going on in my life, I can step on a court and just be me.”
And when she steps on that court, she loves to be “a leader on my team and bring lots of energy and passion,” she said.
That leadership caught the attention of Spalding — and Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James, who watched Jada play during the Nike Nationals tournament this summer — and led to Jada’s selection as a brand ambassador.
“Jada Williams is a tremendous leader on and off the court, and her love for the game of basketball is both inspiring and contagious,” said Matthew Day, head of brand communications at Spalding. “Jada and Spalding have shared values and a shared vision to grow youth basketball. ... As a brand ambassador, Jada and Spalding will collaborate on product and engagements focused on growing youth basketball.”
That means Jada will front campaigns, collaborate on a limited-edition basketball series and engage in programs aimed at growing women’s youth basketball.
The latter is important to Jada, who said her advice to girls and young women who want to play is to “work hard, believe in yourself, remember to have fun and dream big!”
La Jolla Athlete of the Week features athletes from all sports in high school (La Jolla High, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School) and other local youth sports. We’re looking not only for the stars of competition but also for student-athletes who set an example for teamwork, academic achievement and/or community involvement. Please email your nominations, and a way to reach your nominees, to Editor Rob Vardon at firstname.lastname@example.org.