LSU Basketball: Angel Reese sheds positive light on NIL

NIL, for better or worse, remains a game-changer for the NCAA. However, LSU Basketball players like Angel Reese are leveraging their NIL to benefit others.

Angel Reese donated $12k to her former high school, Saint Frances Academy, in Baltimore. The sum will cover the tuition of the academy’s girls’ basketball team for 2023. Reese’s donation is the latest in a series of LSU Tigers flipping their NIL earnings into charitable gestures.

Reese’s LSU Basketball teammate Flau’Jae Johnson recently donated to the Boys & Girls Club in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Additionally, the Angel C. Reese Foundation hosted a back-to-school block party and giveaway for Saint Frances Academy students.

The philanthropy coming out of Baton Rouge sheds a positive light on a program that I think many fans frown upon. Indeed, the NCAA rule change that allows college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness is despised by people that believe such is tainting the sport.

I don’t doubt that NIL’s potential has impacted recruiting and the transfer portal. The larger college programs are lining up sponsors as we speak. However, the only difference between the pre-and post-NIL rule change is that the money is only table. Moreover, I prefer the money to end up in the hands of the athlete instead of the executive.

LSU Basketball stars like Reese demonstrate that putting the money into their hands improves communities.

It is nice to see that Angel Reese remembers where she came from. Reese’s contributions to Saint Frances Academy fund the same sources that once paid her tuition. I also expect the LSU Basketball forward to continue giving back as her NIL earnings continue.

Reese is currently No. 6 on On3’s NIL rankings with a $1.7 million valuation. She continues to cash in on her ‘Bayou Barbie’ moniker, including deals with Raising Cane’s, Intuit TurboTax, Bose, Sonic, and JanSport.