Editorial - November 10, 2021

Introducing Paige Bueckers — NCAA Basketball Star and the Newest StockX Brand Ambassador

StockX is thrilled to welcome NCAA superstar Paige Bueckers as the newest brand ambassador. Learn more about her journey, the partnership with StockX, and that viral ESPYs acceptance speech where she refocused the conversation on the larger community.

StockX is thrilled to welcome NCAA superstar Paige Bueckers as the newest brand ambassador. Learn more about her journey, the partnership with StockX, and that viral ESPYs acceptance speech where she refocused the conversation on the larger community.

by Leah Faye Cooper

Dressed in a Fear of God Essentials sweatsuit and Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 550s, Paige Bueckers exudes the energy and focus that’s made her one of college basketball’s reigning stars. During her freshman season, the UConn point guard led the Huskies in scoring, assists, and steals, earning the 2021 Naismith Trophy, an AP Player of the Year title, and nods as both the Big East Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. When the Minnesota native won the ESPY Award for Best College Athlete in Women’s Sports, her speech honored the often-overlooked Black women who’ve made countless contributions to basketball and society; the clip quickly went viral. Today, the sophomore adds another highlight to her burgeoning basketball career, joining StockX as a brand ambassador.

“It really hasn’t sunk in,” she says of her latest extracurricular role, “[but] StockX has great ideas, I have great ideas, and I’m glad that we’re able to come together.” The three-year partnership is one of the first of its kind, following the implementation of the NCAA’s new NIL policy, which allows college athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. “I’m excited for the opportunity,” Bueckers adds. “Not just for myself, but for everyone… I think it’s been a long time coming.” StockX’s commitment to supporting female athletes—coupled with its treasure trove of Bueckers-approved sneakers and streetwear—made the partnership a natural fit.

On set for her first StockX shoot, Bueckers sat down with us to discuss basketball, fashion, and her plans for the future. 

What are your earliest basketball memories? 

Paige Bueckers: I grew up with a basketball hoop outside of my house, and I started going outside to play when I was five. I immediately fell in love, and I wanted to be the best, even at a very young age. My  dad taught me the game and he coached me in grade school. He was really hard on me; we had a lot of battles and fought a lot [laughs] but I know he always wanted what was best for me.   

[Committing to UConn] was surreal. I watched UConn growing up as a little kid and always wanted to play for them. For it to actually happen and become real was a dream come true. 

How would you describe your game? 

Energetic and outgoing. Last year we didn’t have the crowd, but I love getting the crowd engaged and making “ooh” and “ah” plays. And I love passing—that’s my favorite thing to do in basketball. I just love to have fun. I think anyone who watches me sees that. 

During your freshman year, you set UConn’s single-game assist record with 14, and became the first player in team history to score 30 or more points in three consecutive games. How do you deal with the attention that comes with these accomplishments?   

I try not to ever get complacent with where I’m at. There are always things that I can improve on, and I want to continue to get better. There’s been a lot of talk about me not playing defense, so I’m trying to get better on the defensive end and prove everyone wrong about that.

What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?

Probably winning a gold medal with USA Basketball. I also won a state championship in high school, and that was really fun. 

Are you competitive outside of basketball? 

I’m ultra-competitive. Anything I can win at I want to win at, like card games. Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of UNO.  

You got a lot of recognition for your ESPY Award acceptance speech. How did you prepare for it, and what was going through your head when you walked off the stage? 

As soon as I knew I was nominated, I wanted to be prepared for that moment if I won. I know that with the platform I have I get a lot of media attention, especially as a white woman, so it’s important for me to spread awareness about inequalities—not just in sports, but in the world in general. I was nervous leading up to it; I just wanted to get it right. It meant a lot that I was able to go up there and say what I needed to say, and it was such a relief afterwards. 

What are you focused on this season? 

Leadership is one thing; Coach [Geno Auriemma] wants me to use my voice more. Freshman year I came in trying to gain everyone’s respect, and now that I have it—and that there’s mutual respect among the team—I’m more confident speaking up and using my voice to help my teammates. Of course, I’m also focused on winning a national championship. That’s what I’ve been working for all summer and fall, and that’s what we’re going to continue to work for this season. 

What’s been your favorite shoe to play in over the years? 

I’ve always loved Kobes. I wore the LeBron 10 high tops for a while, but I switched to low tops and it’s been Kobes ever since.  

How would you describe your style? 

I’m definitely a cozy, laid-back person. I like to be comfortable and I like to be my own person. 

What are you getting on StockX? 

I’m really into clothes and sneakers, but I’m kinda looking for a PS5 right now.

Bueckers and her UConn teammates kick off their season November 14 against the Minnesota Gophers. And though she’s laser-focused on winning a national championship, she embraces that such achievements are hard-won. “Basketball is a game of ups and downs,” she says, matter of factly. “You’re going to have great times and you’re going to have bad times, but I think all the bad times make you grow and make you stronger, and better as a player and as a person.” She’s committed to that journey, this year and beyond. “Five years from now I hope to be playing in the WNBA against my idols, but also using my brand and image to make a positive impact on the world.” 

Additional Credits:

Stylist – Sasha Elena 
Makeup Artist – Natalie Cardona
Hair Styling – Andrita Renee