VANCOUVER -- Abbotsford native Chase Claypool took the NFL by storm during his rookie season.

Now, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver's success has caught the eye of one of the world's most recognizable brands.

Claypool recently signed an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand, basketball legend Michael Jordan's company, best known for its eponymous shoes.

In an announcement on the company's website, Claypool shares the story of how he saved up for a pair of Air Jordans in Grade 10, first buying a fake pair of the sneakers while he worked to raise the funds. 

"I still have them to this day," he says in the interview.

The anecdote mirrors what Claypool's high school coach Jay Fujimura told CTV News Vancouver about the young athlete's determination.

"He was always pushing forward and always just trying to do his best," Fujimura said. "He never, ever, ever gave up and I'm just happy that things are working out for him."

The coach said he's looking forward to seeing what kind of designs Claypool comes up with for shoes and apparel, adding that the local player's success serves as inspiration and motivation for other B.C. athletes.

"I think it's a big deal that it's not so out of their reality for them, that they know someone that has played and gone through our system and has been so successful," Fujimura said.