College Basketball
How Illinois transfer Coleman Hawkins scored $2M NIL deal from Kansas State
College Basketball

How Illinois transfer Coleman Hawkins scored $2M NIL deal from Kansas State

Published Jun. 14, 2024 12:26 p.m. ET

Nobody in college basketball has ever played their cards better financially than Coleman Hawkins

The Illinois transfer announced Friday morning that he will head to Kansas State for his fifth season. As great of a pickup as it is for Wildcats third-year head coach Jerome Tang, the bigger story is the financial piece. 

Sources confirmed to FOX Sports that Hawkins will receive NIL compensation of roughly $2 million for his final year of college basketball. The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported the news. This means that Hawkins' earnings clock in as the highest-known compensation of any college basketball player heading into this season. 


My reaction: credit to Hawkins, who could not have gone about this offseason any better when it comes to his wallet. If he had left the college ranks, he would be in the NBA G League making thousands of dollars and off the national radar. Instead, Hawkins will be one of the most notable returning names in the sport of college basketball and will be able to take care of himself and his family, making more money in one year than he likely ever will again in his basketball career. 

To think that an All-Big Ten Second Team selection could now be making $2 million is certainly crazy, but it's a testament to a notable transfer leveraging a holdout process for more money in the end. He benefited by testing the NBA Draft waters, getting the feedback that college would be the best route going forward and taking the most lucrative offer. 

Last season, the 6-foot-10 Hawkins averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game on an Elite Eight Illini team that featured star guards Terrence Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask

This move by Hawkins to head to Kansas State also further solidifies that the Wildcats are a firm player with the top programs in name, image and likeness dollars. Tang, a former Scott Drew assistant, possesses a unique energy that has really raised the profile of Kansas State basketball. Hawkins joins a class that includes former Michigan guard Dug McDaniel, former Kentucky big man Ugonna Onyenso, former 4-star recruit Baye Fall and former Villanova sharpshooter Brendan Hausen

Hawkins gives K-State a winning presence coming off a season in which he was a standout on a team that made it to a regional final. He also provides swagger and a floor spacer in the Wildcats' offense, having shot 37% from 3-point range this past year. 

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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