College basketball star Luka Garza becomes latest athlete to sell an NFT

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Luka Garza # 55 of the Iowa Hawkeyes walks past # 33 Asbjørn Midtgaard of the Grand Canyon Lopes in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament held at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 20, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Trevor Brown Jr | NCAA Pictures | Getty Images

In addition to ownership of the digital token, which includes several photos of Garza, the highest bidder on his NFT will receive signed shoes from the game where he set the program’s record for most points in a career.

The NFT buyer will also be able to play a game of HORSE against Garza, as well as go to dinner and meditate with him. He said he leaned into meditation during his accomplished career in Iowa.

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“I think that was something cool for… anyone who had to win the NFT, to be able to see what is blocking me, which allows me to be successful at the highest level,” Garza said, suggesting the experiential aspect. . of its digital collector’s item sets it apart from being just another “picture or work of art”.

A portion of the sale will go to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital, so “it’s also for a good cause,” Garza said.

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Garza’s announcement comes shortly after his four-season college career reached its conclusion in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This means he is now free to accept compensation tied to his athletic success without breaking NCAA rules and jeopardizing eligibility.

There has been a tremendous push in recent years to allow NCAA athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, known as NIL. The NCAA delayed a vote on compensation rules earlier this year. However, a few states have already adopted their own NIL legislation, and some proposals have been introduced at the federal level.

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The United States Supreme Court also recently heard a case regarding education-related compensation for NCAA athletes.

Garza, an economics student, said he was grateful for the NCAA and the opportunity to secure a scholarship to pursue basketball and education simultaneously. Nonetheless, he praised those pushing to expand NIL rights, like his Iowa teammate Jordan Bohannon.

“I’m with the changing times, and I think … this is something that maybe could pave the way for varsity athletes in the future to do that and make money with their name, their image and likeness through something like an NFT, ”Garza told TBEN.

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