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American star Hailey Van Lith provides the show at the 3×3 World Cup in Antwerp: Kobe Bryant would be proud of the ‘woman of 1 million’

American star Hailey Van Lith provides the show at the 3x3 World Cup in Antwerp: Kobe Bryant would be proud of the 'woman of 1 million'

First, the American women won 19-14 against New Zealand, after which Austria was defeated 18-16. The barely 20-year-old Van Lith scored an average of 5.5 points for the US.

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Kobe Bryant

Van Lith is an up-and-coming basketball talent that has been on the radar of the WNBA teams for years. In high school at Cashmere she played everything to pieces. She once scored a historic quadruple double of 37 points, 14 steals, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

She was mentored by none other than Kobe Bryant, the now-mourned NBA star whom she had met at his Mamba Sports Academy, where she forged a friendship with daughter Gianna Bryant. Bryant himself had asked Van Lith to come and train with him.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she recently told the LA Times† “That he just knew me and thought I was a good player. When I later asked him: Why me? he replied that he recognized himself in me. The way I play, my work ethic and mentality.”

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Van Lith already became world champion with the American U18 and U19 in the past, and in 2019 won the 3×3 World Cup with the U18. She has just completed her second season with the Louisville college team averaging 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Last summer she signed a contract with Octagon Sports & Entertainment Agency, for a so-called ‘NIL deal’. With this, American college athletes can finally earn money with their sport after years of struggle. Being with their’name, image and likeness† Van Lith has already raised money through deals with, among others, Adidas and Twitch.

Van Lith has almost 700,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram. According to a specialized company, this could raise almost $1 million.

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