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Lions senior and Jesuit's Sofia Bell are the first Oregon high schoolers to sign endorsement deals.

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND GEAR - West Linn High School senior Jackson Shelstad (left) and Jesuit High School senior Sofia Bell became the first two Oregon high schoolers to sign endorsement deals under the OSAA's new rules governing NIL.

Jackson Shelstad is not waiting for basketball season to start making some history.

On Friday, Oct. 21, lifestyle apparel brand Portland Gear announced that Shelstad, a senior at West Linn High School, signed an endorsement deal with the Portland-based company, along with Jesuit High School senior Sofia Bell. Shelstad and Bell are the first two Oregon high school players to sign endorsement deals under the state's new rules governing compensation for players' name, image and likeness, collectively known as NIL.

"I've been a big fan of Portland Gear since it started, which makes me even more excited about this opportunity," said Shelstad in a news release announcing the deal. "It's incredible to make history as one of two high school athletes to be the first to sign NIL deals, and I can't wait to see what my future with Portland Gear holds."

The Oregon School Activities Association, the governing body for high school sports in Oregon, voted earlier this month to allow players to receive compensation from NIL endorsement deals. That opened the door to Shelstad and Bell making history when their deals were announced by Portland Gear on Friday.

"They just passed the NIL rules in Oregon last week, and Portland Gear came to me and my parents the day it passed," said Shelstad on Friday night, after scoring two touchdowns for the Lions' football team in a 58-6 win. "We did a little photo shoot, met with them and made the deal happen, and we're going to see where it goes from there."

Both Shelstad and Bell have committed to playing college basketball at the University of Oregon after they graduate from high school, and both are currently ranked as the top prospect in the state according to PrepHoops and PrepGirlsHoops, respectively.

While Shelstad is currently playing football, his main sport is basketball. He plays point guard on the West Linn varsity boys team, and he led the Lions to a third-place finish at the state tournament this past March. On top of winning that third-place trophy, Shelstad also was named the state's Player of the Year in Class 6A, as well as the Player of the Year in the Three Rivers League. He also was named as a unanimous selection for the all-tournament first team following the conclusion of the state championships.


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