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ASU men's basketball players debut new 'NIL Club' ahead of critical end-of-season stretch

The player-run collective has raised $1,005 in the first five days since it was launched

221127 Alcorn State Braves vs Sun Devils 7.jpg

Junior guard DJ Horne (0) dribbling the ball down the court against Alcorn State at Desert Financial Arena on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. ASU won 76-55.

Members of the ASU men’s basketball team have launched a player-run "name, image and likeness" collective intended to grant participating fans increased access to the team in exchange for monetary support. 

The collective was first announced via Twitter by many, but not all of ASU men's basketball team players on Feb. 22. 

As of Monday, two days after ASU’s miracle 89-88 finish against UA, the collective has gained 15 members and raised $1,005 since its launch, with a monthly goal of $1,190.

READ MORE: Half-court buzzer beater saves day, and perhaps ASU's season, in 89-88 win over Arizona

Senior guard Devan Cambridge, junior guard DJ Horne and freshman guard Austin Nunez were among the players who each tweeted the same announcement.

The NIL Club for Arizona State Men’s Basketball Team is "an athlete-operated fan community that financially benefits Arizona State Men's Basketball Team athletes," its website reads.

According to the website, a monthly financial commitment of any amount "allows fans to become a member of the NIL Club and gain access to exclusive content throughout the year."

“(The club is) just like a little collective for our team, just to try to bring more attention to us as we’re starting to near the end of the season,” Horne said on Thursday. “And hopefully, with our chances of going into the tournament, just to try to get some extra money into our pocket with this whole new NIL thing starting up."

Horne said the team is working with a third party that helped them get started with the NIL Club.

Posts from players on the NIL Club's website are only available to subscribers. However, the collective's first post was made by junior guard Austin Ronzone on Feb. 13.

Ronzone’s only appearance for the Sun Devils this season was in the final minute of ASU’s 80-49 win over Grambling State University in November 2022.

READ MORE: ASU men's basketball extends win streak to four games

Also on Feb. 22, ActivateASU announced it facilitated a NIL deal with ASU softball senior outfielder Jazmine Hill and Arizona restaurant Burrito Express. The deal was first announced on Feb. 20 alongside a deal with ASU football’s redshirt junior wide receiver Elijhah Badger

The two student-athletes with receive support from Burrito Express "in the form of cash, clothes, and of course, burritos," the restaurant said in a press release.

While its website is not yet in operation, ActivateASU’s Twitter account was created in December 2022, and its stated mission is to “connect local businesses with the ASU community to create economic opportunities for all Sun Devils.”

ActivateASU, whose name could be a homage to new ASU football head coach Kenny Dillingham's now famous “activate the valley” slogan, does not describe itself on its Twitter account as a NIL collective. Its executive director is ASU alum Peter Boyle, and former ASU football player Jaelen Strong is listed as a director.

Edited by Walker Smith, Kathryn Field, Jasmine Kabiri and Caera Learmonth.

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