In July 2021, the Names, Likeness and Likeness (NIL) rules and laws opened the way for college athletes to make money for the first time. It didn’t take long for them or the brands to capitalize.

However, the past year has also seen rapid changes in the NIL market. Yes, the biggest names remain the best-selling names in both men’s and women’s basketball. But it turns out that national brands aren’t as powerful as local and regional sponsors for most college athletes.

- Advertisement -

What does it mean? Athletes with millions of followers are still getting paid. But the rest of the field also benefits from a combination of elite basketball skills, significant social media following, membership in a program or market with a strong economic driver, and their future potential. The top athletes in college basketball also have the most success in the playoffs, so the ability to lead a team to a national title is a big deal. NIL is still relatively new, which means that the final competitiveness metrics are still in development. But every player on our 2022-23 list has either caught the attention of big brands or built relationships with agents or companies that assume their zero-revenue future is bright. Our information, compiled from various sources, including Opendorse and social media metrics, confirms each player’s respective place on the list.

- Advertisement -

One important note: You won’t see Paige Bukers, last year’s best-selling athlete, in this edition due to an unfortunate season-ending knee injury she suffered this summer. However, the Bookers are still technically the most sought-after athlete in college sports. Just ask Crocs and Gatorade, both of whom have major sponsorship deals with junior UConn and former Wooden Award winner.


1. Alia Boston, South Carolina Gamecocks

- Advertisement -

The most dominant force in women’s college basketball (16.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg in 2021-22) struck zero deals with big brands Bose, Crocs, Under Armor and Bojangles last year, with some before how she took over the Gamecocks. for the national championship in 2022. With 107,000 followers on Instagram, Boston, the reigning Women’s Wooden Award winner, is now represented by Klutch Sports – the same group that represents LeBron James – and will only continue to promote their brand through the 2022-23 season.

2. Hanna and Hayley Cavinder, Miami Hurricanes

Prior to moving to Miami, the Cavinder Twins averaged 34 points per game at Fresno State. This year, they’ll be taking with them over 5 million social media followers and the $1 million they’ve reportedly made from NIL deals, including Champs Sports, WWE, Boost Mobile and Baseline Team deals, their own clothing. brand – to the NIL-friendly South Beach campus.

3. Oscar Chibwe, Kentucky Wildcats

Yes, the current Men’s Basketball Award winner Wooden is back for another season to challenge the Wildcats for the championship. A factor could be the nearly $3 million he’s reportedly made from NIL deals. That’s more than what a predicted second-round pick would earn as an NBA rookie.

4. Caitlin Clark, Iowa Hawkeyes

The Big Ten Basketball Player of the Year is an automatic bucket no matter where she is on the floor, which is why she has received praise from the likes of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Big brands have noticed this too. The younger currently has deals with tax preparer H&R Block, card company Topps and supermarket chain Hy-Vee, all of which contribute to NIL’s seven-figure income.

5. Haley Van Lit, Louisville Cardinals

After averaging 14.4 points per game and helping her team make it to last year’s Final Four, Van Lit’s brand — which has over 800,000 social media followers — continues to grow. She has contracts with Dick’s Sporting Goods, JCPenney and Adidas, which announced last month that she is one of 15 college athletes signed by the sportswear giant.

6. Shakir O’Neal, Texas Southern Tigers

The son of Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal and entertainment mogul Shoni Henderson knows a thing or two about fame and marketing. His over 4.5 million social media followers have already helped the redshirted freshman sign a lucrative deal with British clothing company boohooMAN to partner with the popular video game Fortnite.

7. Amari Bailey, UCLA

Bailey, a five-star prospect with 562,000 Instagram followers, seems to have it all for the in-demand jock: He was Bronnie James’ teammate in high school, and he’s cool with Drake, who briefly dated his mother, model, and influencer in in social networks. Johanna Leah. Bailey bought his mother a Porsche last year with zero money he got as a training star, and he’s set to make even more money at UCLA.

8. Azzi Fudd, UConn Huskies

Fudd, who averaged 12.1 points per game in 2021-22, should play a bigger role for the Huskies as the Bukers look to miss this season. Last year, the freshman signed NIL contracts with BioSteel, Chipotle, American Eagle and NBA star Steph Curry SC30 Inc. This trend should only continue in the sophomore campaign for a young star with 217,000 followers on Instagram.

9. Sedona Prince, Oregon Ducks

Her TikTok of the 2021 NCAA men’s and women’s weight division differences has gone viral with over 3.5 million social media followers. Prince is now one of the faces of women’s basketball and the NIL, as evidenced by performances at the WNBA and college basketball events, as well as her portfolio, which includes a deal with Crocs and an equity partnership with Riff Energy+, the beverage company she represents as an executive. . public figure. According to Opendorse, she also charges a $5,000 minimum for looks.

10. Drew Timme, Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Wooden Award contender returned to college basketball after the NBA draft trials, poised to lead Gonzaga to his first national title, averaging 18.4 points per game and 6.8 rebounds last season. His talent and personality helped him secure regional deals, including with local casinos, as well as national brands such as Topps. Expect more when the season starts.

11. Haley Jones, Stanford Cardinal

In a recent interview, Jones said that she is primarily a student-athlete, but also a businesswoman. With the help of sports management agency PRP — a group that also represents Jason Tatum and Shaq — the 2022 Women’s Pac-12 Player of the Year already has contracts for both the NBA2K video game and Beats by Dre headphones.

12. Emony Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles

Bates, who charges over $1,000 for an autograph, according to Opendorse, was first a Michigan State devotee in high school but then signed with Memphis before entering the transfer portal after a wild freshman campaign. He finally landed in Eastern Michigan, the Mid-American Conference school that won just 10 games in the 2021-22 season. Although he’s lost the luster he gained as top prep star, he still has 428,000 followers on Instagram and a chance to change the narrative in a smaller spotlight that’s closer to his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan.

13. Deja Kelly, Tar Heels, North Carolina

The junior, who was named First Team All-ACC after averaging 16.5 points per game in 2021/22, is returning to the Tar Heels, who are determined to make it through the Sweet 16 this season. At 20, Kelly is also the proud owner of a BMW SUV, bought with cash from NIL deals with brands like Essentia Water and Beats by Dre last year.

14. Armando Backot, Tar Heels, North Carolina

Being a leader in a school like North Carolina, ranked second in the nation in 2021, is profitable. Backot’s mom told Sports Illustrated in June that the senior player, who became the first player in NCAA Tournament history with six double-doubles in a single tournament last season, will make more than $500,000 in NIL deals in 2022-23. over $2,500 in performance and autograph fees, according to Opendorse.

15. Derek Lively and Daric Whitehead, Duke Blue Devils

The No. 1 and No. 2 men’s basketball college recruits, respectively, had already hired agents to represent them in NIL deals before they even played their first college games. A smart move for the predicted 2023 NBA lottery picks and two young faces of college basketball’s most powerful brand, the school that recently hired Rachel Baker, formerly of the NBA and Nike, as their general manager to oversee the NIL. capabilities.

16. Angel Reese, LSU Tigers

The best transfer available this offseason, according to Sportzshala, Reese (17.8 ppg, 10.6 rebounds last season in Maryland) joins three other transfers on Kim Mulkey’s LSU Second Team. She already has contracts with Wingstop, Amazon and Xfinity, as well as her own clothing line available online.

17. Zia Cook, South Carolina Gamecocks

With over 200,000 Instagram followers, the SEC second-team player has one of the most diverse NIL portfolios in college basketball. She recently released a new song through NFT ($19.99); she has deals with Bojangles, Dick’s Sporting Goods and even the US government; and she and Caitlin Clark are the faces of H&R Block’s $1 million Fair Shot initiative, which aims to eliminate the financial disparity between men’s and women’s college sports.

18. Javon Quinerley, Alabama Crimson Tide

Iconic Jelly Fam basketball team leader Quinerley (13.8 points per game last season) charges a minimum of $80 for a personalized message on Cameo. A senior security guard with over 400,000…