We are deep into UConn’s highly anticipated basketball season, and the men’s basketball team is expected to be the first NIL operation to launch an NFT project and capitalize off the NCAA’s new NIL deal. NFTs are non-fungible tokens, and would feature the unique profile pictures of different UConn men’s basketball players with plans to include current players like talented guard R.J. Cole and previous Husky stars in future projects. The team will partner with OpenLocker to create their digital avatars and with so many options from which to choose, the question arises as to which NFT one would choose. Our team of writers each have their own unique takes on which player’s NFT they would seek out.
As someone who has previously invested with NBA Topshot and other NFT projects, you definitely want to invest in something with potential, especially with sports NFTs. Andre Jackson’s has hugely emerged as a solid starter this season, and with high flying dunks and blooming potential, he seems like the obvious pick. If you get in on a Jackson NFT now and the sophomore ends up heading to the NBA in the future, that token would skyrocket in value. Regardless, it would be absolutely hilarious to see how Openlocker creates a design with Jackson’s huge hair. That design alone may make it an awesome buy. I just hope my crypto wallet can afford to outbid anyone for Jackson’s high profile NFT.
Investment in current UConn players is a very cool thing, but if you’re someone like me, you are heavily into nostalgia. If UConn decides to add people from the 1999 National Championship team in the future, Richard Hamilton is the best pick. Hamilton was a superstar on this team, which featured Khalid El-Amin, Kevin Freeman and Jake Voskuhl among several other hotshots. This success ultimately propelled him to become a NBA draft lottery pick. Imagine how cool it would be to have a Husky NFT that features Hamilton’s iconic dreads and classic sweatband. It would be of massive interest for not only UConn fans, but also any Detroit Pistons fan who enjoyed watching him play on the 2004 NBA Championship team with Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace. If Openlocker wanted to add even more creativity to this ripped design, they could incorporate Hamilton’s face mask look from the mid 2000s and get it to sell at a higher price. The bidding would start at .1 ETH ($77.74) before being sold at a potentially whopping 37 ETH ($100,087.41).
While some of my fellow writers decided to go the maximum value route for their picks, I decided to go with someone a little more personal: UConn walk-on Matt Garry. While he’s far from the biggest name, his story of going from a student manager to a walk-on Husky is awe-inspiring. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s written about it for The Daily Campus in the past. There’s a reason the student section tends to chant “We want Garry” at the end of blowout wins: This guy is a Storrs legend. In his Husky career, Garry has two total points, both on free throws in UConn’s 93-40 win against LIU. Sure, he’s not in the 1000-point club alongside guys like Christian Vital, Ray Allen or Chris Smith, but Garry’s NFT would be a very unique piece to have from an exciting, first-of-its-kind project.
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