all scores

Angel Reese leads men’s and women’s college basketball in NIL deals

Angel Reese leads all NCAA Tournament players with 18 NIL brand deals. (Rebecca Warren/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Angel Reese is cashing in on LSU basketball’s success.

The star transfer has more NIL deals than any other player in college basketball with 17, per a new report from SponsorUnited, followed by Miami’s Haley and Hanna Cavinder with 16.

As the NIL leaders in the sport, these players also lead the Sweet 16 fields across women’s and men’s basketball. No player remaining in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has more than eight, with Houston’s Marcus Sasser at the top. Among women’s basketball players in the Sweet 16, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, UConn’s Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark round out the top six.

Women’s basketball NIL deals increased by 186% this season compared to last season, while men’s basketball deals increased by 67%. SponsorUnited analyzed data from the October 1, 2022, through March 1, 2023, to create its report.

Reese credited LSU’s robust NIL program as one of the reasons she chose the school once she hit the transfer market in the offseason.

“When I came here on my visit, they had their own NIL program, and that was just something that have never seen before, where they can help me brand myself, help me with taxes, things you really don’t learn in school,” she said on a recent episode of the Outta Pocket podcast as presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment.

And while the 6-3 forward is excited by the opportunities for women’s athletes in particular in the NIL space, she also has had to learn a lesson as she navigates her options for deals.

“All money isn’t good money,” she said. “It might be a good price at the moment but do you see yourself actually wanting to authentically wear the brand? … If I’m not interested in it, it’s just like, why am I putting this fake stuff on my Instagram?”

Still, Reese is thriving at LSU as she and the No. 3 seed Tigers prepare for their Sweet 16 matchup with No. 2 seed Utah at 5 p.m. ET Friday.

“Being able to market myself, being who I am… I’ve been able to be who I am and embrace who I am, so I think this is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” she said, echoing a sentiment she shared with Just Women’s Sports earlier this season. “It has changed my life so much in a great way.”