South Carolina’s Destanni Henderson is the first player since 2000 to notch a personal scoring record in the championship game, according to ESPN. Henderson is also the first player in history to promote an NIL activity — her clothing line — during the official postgame interview.
Henderson, along with countless other women’s basketball players, was able to capitalize on NIL this season — with the March Madness stage providing an even bigger opportunity.
Through March 31, women’s college basketball players ranked second in total NIL earnings (17.8%), according to Opendorse data.
College football players, who raked in more than half of total NIL profits, topped the list. Men’s college basketball players ranked third with 15%.
Heading into the Sweet 16, four of the five players with the highest social media earning potential per post were women’s players, Opendorse found:
- UConn’s Paige Bueckers ($62,900)
- Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith ($44,200)
- South Carolina’s Zia Cooke ($7,900)
- UNC’s Deja Kelly ($7,100)
March Madness Deals
The NIL deals kept flowing throughout March Madness.
Orangetheory Fitness promised a partnership to the championship game’s Most Outstanding Player — an accolade won by South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston.
Bueckers inked a partnership with Chegg focused on raising awareness for student hunger, which included a pop-up food market in Minneapolis during the Final Four. Her previous deal with Gatorade also featured via a wall-sized poster at the Mall Of America.