Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and Zamst, a Japanese athletic brace and support company, have partnered to make the NBA All-Star the brand’s newest ambassador. Under a planned two-year agreement, Young will sport the popular A2-DX, an ankle brace made to prevent future injuries.
Zamst’s eagerness to connect with younger fans drove the company to the popular Young, 21, who remained one of the most visible NBA players during the pandemic hiatus. He participated in a players-only NBA 2K20 competition that aired on ESPN in March and streamed himself playing “Call of Duty: Warzone” with rapper Quavo on Twitch. Young has also been outspoken in social justice activism as the Hawks maintain a visible role in Atlanta during the sports hiatus.
Zamst had been in talks with Young at the end of 2019, after the point guard had sprained his ankle in October. When Young hurt his ankle again in February, it prompted him to wear the company’s products on the court. Despite his current absence on the court in Orlando—the Hawks (20–47) failed to qualify for the NBA’s bubble season which began last Wednesday—Zamst was still eager to get the deal done.
“Zamst’s braces are highly functional and comfortable, allowing me to focus on my game when I am on the court,” said Young, who missed seven games because of right ankle injuries he suffered during the 2019–20 season. The 21-year-old All-Star has healed since his last injury in February.
Young follows in the footsteps of Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, another ankle-injury-prone guard who previously served as an ambassador for Zamst before signing with Under Armour. Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams is also a current Zamst brand ambassador. The company was founded in 1991 in Japan to develop ankle support for medical purposes, according to its website. It entered the sports market the following year.
Basketball has been growing rapidly in Asia, in part to development funded by the NBA as well as the International Olympic Committee. This years Summer Olympics, scheduled to be played in Tokyo, have been postponed to 2021.
“With Trae’s drive and efforts both on the court and off, as well as his passion in taking care of his body, we are proud to have Trae join our team and represent Zamst,” said Hajime Takada, President of Sigmax America dba Zamst, “Trae’s relationship and high engagement with his community—especially his younger fans, and his integrity both on the court and off—ultimately made it a simple decision as an athlete who best represents Zamst.”