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According to an exclusive report from Complex, Puma is returning to the basketball game–and they’ve got some big names joining them for the ride.

After major speculations about their return, the shoe and sportswear company has made it official by announcing the signings of top draft prospects including DeAndre Ayton (Arizona), Marvin Bagley III (Duke), and Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech). Ayton is considered the unanimous favorite to go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns in Thursday’s draft, while Bagley and Smith are also expected to go in the lottery.

On top of that news, Jay Z has joined as the company’s president of basketball operations. Adam Petrick, Puma’s global director of brand and marketing, told Complex: “We’ve been working with Roc Nation for quite some time. They’ve been great partners to us for several years. We’ve done many different deals with many different ambassadors.” When Puma approached him about this opportunity, Hov felt it “was something he wanted to be a part of,” according to Petrick.

Mr. Carter will have a hand in the players selected to join Puma’s basketball division, along with assisting in the art design and overall concept and direction of the brand. “What’s important to him on a day like today is that it’s clear we’re making a serious push with players like Bagley and Ayton and Smith. We’re making a serious statement about the entry of the category, that we want to be a performance brand, but then also very culturally focused. It’s clear that we’re looking at basketball through the lens of culture, and thinking about the fashion of basketball, the music of basketball, all the aspects of culture around basketball as much as the on court presence that we will have,” Petrick continued.

To celebrate its reintroduction to hoops, Puma also released limited-edition Walt Frazier Clydes and shared the big news that the legendary player has signed on to be a lifetime endorser of the brand.


Puma Has Relaunched Their Basketball Division, With Jay Z Joining As President  was originally published on