FOS College: rise of the NIL high school



A 16-year-old basketball player has just signed a contract with a major sports brand. She’s not the only high school student to jump in name, image, and likeness.

– Amanda Christovitch



High school students are already enjoying

Photo: Spalding / Design: Alex Brooks

When the NCAA changed its NIL policy, it allowed high school students to profit without losing their college eligibility. They are already benefiting from it.

The most recent agreement? Jada williams, a 2023 UCLA basketball player who joined Spalding’s Ambassador Program, the company said Thursday.

She represents a class of highly marketable products high school players, a few of whom have already hopped into NIL before moving into their college dorm.

  • A five-star recruit Mikey williams, also the 2023 class, signed with Excel Sports Management in July. He “makes” a deal with Puma, according to The Athletic.
  • Basic sports streaming service BallerTV performed NFTs of 30 male basketball players at the Pangos All-American Camp this summer. NFTs have gone from $ 99 to $ 250.
  • Jada Williams has over 12,000 followers on Twitter and 300,000 on Instagram, while Mikey Williams has 3.3 million on Instagram and over 59,000 on Twitter.

Jada Williams, the No.21 ranked rookie, will join Spalding alongside pro players like Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan. She will work on marketing campaigns, events to promote women’s basketball among youth and collaborate on a “limited edition” basketball series.

Experts previously told FOS that NIL high school opportunities probably won’t be as lucrative like the college landscape. But a few social media stars like Mikey Williams could make millions.

A spokesperson declined to disclose any information about compensation for Jada Williams’ deal.


Choose the right route

Photo: Adam Cairns-Columbus Expedition / Design: Alex Brooks

The confusing patchwork of state NIL laws and college-level school policies is even worse in high school.

This could affect where athletes choose to attend high school, or if they even play in those teams.

The National Federation of State High School Associations is the closest thing to an NCAA, but it doesn’t have the same power. It can only suggest guidelines and make recommendations.

Each state high school federation determines its own eligibility rules.

  • Three states have confirmed that high school athletes can enter into NIL deals without losing eligibility, according to a late-September Opendorse study.
  • More than 10 states have confirmed that their athletes are banned from NIL activity.
  • The other states have not made definitive statements and Opendorse has not been able to confirm their positions.

Some athletes may choose to play for club teams outside of state high school federations – like the one Mikey Williams plays for – which are not subject to these rules.

NFHS Executive Director Karissa Niehoff previously told FOS that some athletes may move to states that allow NIL. Although Jada Williams has not credited NIL for the decision, she is transferred to a California school in Missouri – a state that prohibits transactions.

Athletes could skip part of high school altogether. Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers left early after finding out he couldn’t take advantage of NIL in high school due to a Texas state law.

As the Buckeyes’ fourth-string quarterback, he now earns over $ 1 million in NIL mentions.

  • Following the Alston decision, the Big 12 will not place limits on the amount of educational benefits conference athletes can receive, the conference said. The second recently made the same choice.
  • More than 90 female athletes from Florida Atlantic University have signed NIL agreements with the Florida Panthers, according to Forbes.
  • If the college football playoffs expand to eight teams before 2025, ESPN would not have to pay additional fees for media rights, according to the Associated Press.


A few select high schoolers have always garnered enough attention to be marketable, even before social media – just ask LeBron James High School in Akron.

They just had never had the chance to capitalize until now.

Between social media and the new NCAA NIL rules, it’s a perfect storm for some high school kids to bank.

Tips? Comments? Contact Amanda Christovich at [email protected] or on Twitter.




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