Angel Reese and Flau’jae Johnson are in the business of college basketball.
With 9.9 million people watching LSU basketball win the national title in April, both players’ profiles skyrocketed. Reese’s NIL valuation has reached an estimated $1.7 million, per On3. Johnson’s is at $1.1 million, per On3, and the star player told Sports Illustrated her agreements are around “the mid-seven figures.”
And both players tout their NIL success to high school recruits. They didn’t need to underscore the point for star transfer Hailey Van Lith, who brings a valuation of $546,000 with her to the Tigers.
“She already knew what she had going on,” Reese told SI. But with high schoolers, the potential for NIL deals is a frequent part of the recruiting conversation.
“You wanna be a superstar, come to LSU,” Johnson said.
And that doesn’t just extend to top recruits.
“Even the girls who walk on, they’re getting money,” Reese said. “Everybody’s benefiting from it, not just the stars of the team.”
Johnson has benefited from NIL in a number of ways – including being able to pursue her rap career. While she wants to play in the WNBA, she also has signed a deal with Roc Nation, which wouldn’t have been possible before the NCAA opened the door for NIL deals.
Reese, meanwhile, is building her modeling career and was recently featured in the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. And she hopes to carry her deals with her to the WNBA, where rookies get paid no more than $75,000 in the first year of their contracts.
“Everybody knows the WNBA doesn’t make that much money, so I just want to be able to grow my brand as much as I can in college before I go to the WNBA,” Reese said. “I’ve done so many photo shoots. I’ve done so many commercials. Being able to pitch those things with the team I have now is going to help me when I graduate and decide to go to the WNBA.”