College athletes don’t have to be star players to profit off of their NIL (name, images, or likeness), and Wyatt Wilkes is proving that. Wilkes is a fifth-year player for the Florida State University men’s basketball team. He doesn’t have high hopes for the NBA, but he's making history in the NCAA. The FSU athlete will be the first active NCAA men’s basketball player to sell NFTs.
Wilkes will be partnering with Draftly, an NFT platform that assists high school and college athletes in creating their own NFTs and monetizing their NIL. Founded in 2020, Draftly will be releasing Wilkes’ NFTs on Oct. 4 at 5:00 p.m. ET using the OpenSea platform.
How can I purchase Wilkes’ NFTs?
Users can purchase the NFTs on OpenSea with Ether using a MetaMask wallet. You can either directly purchase Ether through the MetaMask wallet with a credit or debit card, or transfer Ether from a crypto exchange. The details about how much the digital assets will cost haven't been released.
Who is Wyatt Wilkes?
Wilkes is a Florida native who has actually already earned a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities at Florida State University. Wilkes is pursuing a second Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences. He's known to be one of the brightest players and top shooters for FSU’s basketball program. Now in his fifth and final season, he was part of FSU’s 2020 ACC championship team.
The Orlando native has a deep basketball history in his family, as both his father and grandfather were legendary basketball coaches. Wilkes’ father, Glenn Wilkes Jr., is one of the winningest coaches in women’s college basketball history for Rollins College. Wilkes’ grandfather, Glenn Wilkes Sr, was a legendary basketball coach for the Stetson University men’s program. He was inducted into the college basketball hall of fame in 2014.
Who was the first college athlete to sell their NFT?
The first college athlete to sell their own NFT was former Iowa men’s basketball player Luka Garza. Garza, who played for the University of Iowa from 2017 to 2021, released his own NFT for auction in April. The item was listed on OpenSea where the winning bid was reportedly over $41,000.
The NFT came with a pair of autographed shoes, the chance to play Garza in a game of horse, a meditation session, a lifetime VIP pass to any of Garza’s basketball camps, as well as dinner and a movie with the player. Garza had some portions of the money earned from that NFT sale go to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
The listing happened shortly after Garza’s team was eliminated by Oregon in the NCAA Tournament and his season was over. As a result, Garza isn’t the first active college basketball player with an NFT.
Garza is well-entrenched in the NFT space. He has his own NFT marketplace and could release other NFTs after his initial launch. The former business major launched the Luka Garza NFT Group in July, which is a marketplace geared towards college athletes being able to profit off their NIL.
In May, Garza released a NFT series, which involved various accomplishments throughout his college basketball career. The winners of that auction had perks like an invitation to Garza’s Iowa jersey retirement ceremony and the signed name plate from his basketball locker.
Drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of this year’s NBA Draft, Garza was one of the best college players in Iowa history. The Washington D.C. native was a two-time All-American and the 2020-21 AP Player of the Year, which are awarded to the top basketball players in the country.