Iowa Hawkeyes’ Luka Garza Believes NCAA Should Join NFT Movement So Student Athletes Can Get Paid

Published 05/20/2021, 9:20 AM EDT
Mar 12, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts against the Wisconsin Badgers in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


The NCAA has often been criticized for not letting student-athletes get paid. Many players like LeBron James have branded them as corrupt for doing so. While the restrictions have been eased recently, Iowa Hawkeyes star Luka Garza is here with an excellent solution.

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Last month, Garza became the first NCAA basketball player to have his own NFT. The card sold for over $40,000 and most of the proceeds went to charity. While that was a one-time project, he has now started his own NFT group. Through the group, he wants changes in laws that allow student-athletes to monetize themselves. And he is suggesting that the NCAA join the NFT movement to help do so.

He said, “I think that’s the biggest draw to it is for the NCAA, we’re creating a new revenue stream that we don’t have to take away. We won’t have to get a salary from the university.”

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Feb 2, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts as Michigan State Spartans forward Julius Marble II (34) looks on during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

“We won’t have to bother any of the advertisement deals they already have or the TV contract they have. That’s still theirs but this is a way that we can make money for ourselves with not even touching the NCAA’s money and what they’ve been able to do.”

Through the NFT group, Garza doesn’t only want to help athletes. He is also aiming to aid artists, musicians, and designers. He is using his economics major knowledge to help his colleagues and also bring a change for the future.

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What’s next for Luka Garza?

After a successful NCAA basketball career, Garza is now preparing to enter the NBA. He declared for the 2021 NBA Draft and despite the success he had; he is projected to be a late second-round pick.

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The increasing preference for younger prospects plus Garza’s lack of athleticism hurts his draft stock. However, he is already equipped to be a great rotational piece for any team in the league. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, and can also score in the post. There are also some concerns about his defense, but one can expect him to work on that as he enters the NBA.

Garza will be a solid addition to any contending team and can give them the offensive push off the bench. Fans will be eager to see where the reigning National Player of the Year lands in the draft.

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Aaron Mathew

1655 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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