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Volume 21 No. 2

Labor and Agents

WME has signed Ryan Murphy, who won three gold medals at the Rio Olympics. A team of agents led by Brian Bishoff will represent Murphy, who is seen as one of the most marketable athletes going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Murphy, 21, recently completed his collegiate career at Cal, where he won multiple awards and was the NCAA national champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke for four consecutive years.

He did not previously have an agent or any endorsements, in order to retain his college eligibility. Murphy was one of several U.S. athletes, along with swimmers Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel and gymnast Madison Kocian, who achieved success in the 2016 Olympics but were unable to capitalize on it commercially because of their amateur status.

Murphy won gold in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke in Rio and was part of the gold-medal-winning U.S. team in the 4x100 medley relay. Murphy holds the world record for the 100-meter backstroke.

Swimmer Ryan Murphy won three golds at the Rio Olympics.

> CAA SIGNS HANIFIN: CAA Sports has signed Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 draft, for representation.

He will be represented by a team of agents led by CAA Hockey co-head Pat Brisson. He was formerly represented by the Orr Hockey Group.

Asked for comment on Hanifin leaving the agency, Orr Hockey Group managing partner Rick Curran responded in an email, “Disillusionment.”

Hanifin, a 20-year-old American, helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World U18 Championship. Hanifin will have to wait five years to be an unrestricted free agent.

> GERARD FOX LAUNCHES SPORTS GROUP: Gerard Fox Law, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment law firm, has launched a sports group and has hired veteran NBA agent Brian Elfus.

Elfus, who formerly represented San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and negotiated his five-year, $94 million contract in 2015, left Impact Sports last year. It is not clear which clients if any may follow him to the new venture. He will be head of basketball at the Gerard Fox Sports Group.

> WASSERMAN SIGNS NBA DRAFT CLASS: Wasserman has signed a large class of both American and international prospects for this year’s NBA draft, including Kansas forward Josh Jackson, who is seen as a top-five pick.

Jackson, who is represented by B.J. Armstrong, was at No. 3 last week on the mock draft, after Washington guard Markelle Fultz and UCLA guard Lonzo Ball.

Wasserman has also signed Michigan forward D.J. Wilson, Gonzaga guards Nigel Williams-Goss and Jordan Mathews, Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski, Ohio State forward/center Trevor Thompson, Washington State guard Ike Iroegbu, Washington State forward Josh Hawkinson, Cal forward Roger Moute a Bidias, BYU guard L.J. Rose, and New Orleans forward Erik Thomas.

Greg Lawrence, Darren Matsubara, Thad Foucher and Joe Smith represent the players.

Wasserman has also signed several prospects who have played on basketball teams around the globe, including Isaiah Hartenstein, a forward/center who played on the Lithuanian team Zalgiris. Hartenstein is at No. 25 on the mock draft and is represented by Armstrong.

Wasserman also signed forward Gytis Masiulis from Lithuania; forwards Berkan Durmaz and Tolga Geçim and guard Berk Ugurlu from Turkey; forwards Nik Slavica and Lovro Mazalin from Croatia; centers Viny Okouo and Ilimane Diop and forward Rolands Smits from Spain; forwards Mathias Lessort and Axel Bouteille from France; forward Alexander Madsen from the Czech Republic; and guard Wesley Alves da Silva from Brazil.

Wasserman’s George David, Jason Ranne and Foucher represent the players.

Liz Mullen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.