College Basketball

College basketball: Top prospect Mikey Williams loses NIL sponsorship after controversial arrest

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Once a high school basketball star, Mikey Williams has had a turbulent first months after committing to Memphis, as he’s been surrounded by controversy in the wake of his arrest linked to a shooting in Southern California back in March. 

The top prospect has been attending state courts these past couple of months, and while at it, the rising star is losing potential contracts. The last one was a NIL sponsorship from Lace Clips.

“We are not continuing our partnership with Mikey Williams,” said Jonathan Nussbaum, the president of the company. “He is not someone that will be associated with our brand going forward.”

According to TMZ Sports, to whom Nussbaum talked to first, the player’s relationship with Williams was “deteriorating even before his arrest” because the player wasn’t completing his end of the deal with the company.

The 18-year-old was arrested back in April due to a connection with a public shooting, as the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department reported there was an argument at William’s home, and shots were fired after a group of five people left the property.

According to their report, a search of the house preceded the arrest after it was suspected that the young talent allegedly fired a gun at a car full of the people who had just left the residence.

“Five people got into a car and as they were driving away, shots were fired,” the County’s Sheriff said about the incident. “The car was hit, but no one was hurt.”

The six-foot-two guard eventually pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon and firing into the fleeing vehicle.

According to 247Sports’ composite rankings for the 2023 recruiting class, Williams is the No. 49 overall player on the list. Now that the young athlete has been committed to the Tigers since November, he is one of the five stars joining the program for this upcoming campaign.

Take a look at some of his highlights from his senior season at San Ysidro High School:

Back in April, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters that the 18-year-old “is still with us.”

“I can’t even speak on the case, out of respect for the ongoing process of what’s happening,” he said about Williams. “I don’t know enough to speak on it. That’s all I have to say about that. I don’t really have anything else to say about it.”

The rising star is getting ready to face a couple of court hearings during this next month of June

Williams is currently getting prepared to attend virtual hearing on June 15 and then ordered to appear personally for the preliminar hearing scheduled for June 29 alongside his attorney Troy Owens.

“The facts are still under investigation,” Owens recently told the press. “I look forward to the opportunity to provide a statement about what actually happened on the night of the incident. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot compromise an ongoing investigation and will have to wait.”

OutKick’s reporter Sean Labar described what a sensation Williams had been up to his arrest. “The 6-2 guard from San Diego, CA, has become a social media phenom, with 6 million total followers.

“The 17-year-old became the first high schooler in the U.S. to land a multi-year sneaker deal with Puma back in October and has endorsement agreements with CashApp, LaceClips and others,” he wrote.

The player, who is now ranked 34th in ESPN’s 2023 recruiting class, has deleted his accounts ever since the polemic started.