Top 5 highest-paid NCAA basketball players featuring Hansel Enmanuel, Drew Timme, and more

San Francisco v Gonzaga
Drew Timme during Gonzaga’s matchup with San Francisco

One of the most earth-shattering events in recent college sports history was the decision to legalize NIL deals. This was passed by the Supreme Court in June 2021 and allowed players to profit from their name, image and likeness.

This has now opened the door for players in college to make money with the desire it will allow top athletes to stay for longer. It has rapidly turned into a cutthroat industry, with players making a surprising living while still earning their degrees.

Here is a look at the top five highest-paid players across the NCAA basketball landscape.

Top five highest-paid NCAA basketball players

#5, Trayce Jackson-Davies

A senior forward at Indiana, Tryace Jackson-Davies is in the fourth year of his impressive college career. The four-time All-Big Ten team member was a highly touted recruit and has lived up to the hype during his time in school.

Jackson-Davies has NIL deals with a number of companies, including Adidas, Campus Ink, Push or Paddle, Merchants Bank of Indiana and the Turnstone Center. In total, his NIL value is $886,000.

He will have a chance to further grow his legendary college career during this year's NCAA Tournament. Indiana enters the tournament as a No. 4 seed and will face off against Kent State in the opening round.

#4, Drew Timme

Another player with a long college career, Drew Timme, will have his name remembered among the best Gonzaga players of all time. He recently broke the all-time scoring record at Gonzaga and will have a chance to further add to it in the NCAA Tournament.

The two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year will have a chance to lead the Bulldogs on a deep tournament run which will begin by facing off against 14th-seeded Grand Canyon University.

In addition to his on-court accomplishments, Timme has been active in securing NIL deals as well. He holds an overall NIL value of $912,000 and has deals with Dollar Shave Club, Walker's Furniture, Goli Nutrition and Preediction.

#3, Jalen Wilson

Narrowly edging out Timmer, Jalen Wilson ranks third among college basketball players with his NIL value of $914,000. This is his fourth season at Kansas, where he won the national title last season as well as Big 12 Player of the Year. Wilson looks to have taken further strides forward this year and is averaging 20.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

While he seems to have developed into a surefire NBA talent, Wilson is ahead of the game in taking care of himself in college. The 6-foot-8 senior holds partnerships with Legacy Restaurant Group, MiniJerzeys, Charlie Hustle, Rally House and Family Promise.

Wilson is a perfect example of a player who would likely have tried his hand at the NBA sooner if not for NIL deals. Instead, he returned to school to benefit himself and the program in the way it was hoped.

#2, Shaqir O'Neal

The son of legendary NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, it is no surprise to see Shaqir on this list. The 19-year-old plays at Texas Southern University, where he is mostly a rotation player. He has done an impressive job building up a following on social media and has over 3.6 million followers on Tik Tok and nearly one million on Instagram.

This use of social media has raised his ceiling for monetization, and O'Neal holds and NIL value of $1.1 million. His most notable brand deals are with the clothing brand boohooMAN and Capital One. Without the NBA in his near future, expect O'Neal to further develop as a player in college and cash in on more NIL opportunities in the coming years.

#1, Hansel Enmanuel

Leading this list with an NIL value of $1.5 million is Hansel Enmanuel. The Dominican Republic native was born without a left arm but has not let this stop him on the basketball court. He plays for Northwestern State University, where he saw action in 20 games this year.

Enmanuel has an impressive story and has also used social media to grow his brand. He has over 1.6 million Instagram followers and 2.7 million on Tike Tok. His story has been captured by a number of brands as he has struck major deals with Adidas, Gatorade and T-Mobile. He appeared in commercials for Gatorade as well as rapper J-Cole's "Dreamer" collection with Puma.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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