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College basketball star Luka Garza becomes the latest athlete to sell an NFT

Basketball star Luka Garza becomes the latest athlete to sell an NFT

April 8, 2021: -Luka Garza, named the best player in men’s college basketball for the just-concluded season, is auctioning off an NFT.

The 6-foot-11 University of Iowa senior, who announced on Tuesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” becomes the latest athlete to venture into the increasingly popular world of digital collectibles.

The auction for Garza’s NFT starts on Tuesday to Friday afternoon on the crypto marketplace OpenSea.

An NFT is a digital asset that is unique by design. Ownership of an NFT is recorded on a blockchain network, one of the distributed digital ledgers that underpin cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Items recently minted as NFTs include rock albums, the first-ever tweet, and pieces of digital art.

In addition to ownership of the digital token, featuring more than one picture of Garza, the highest bidder on his NFT will get an autograph on the shoes from the game, setting the program record for most points in a career.

The buyers of NFT will also play a HORSE game against Garza and go to a meditation session with him with the dinner. He said he leaned on meditation in his accomplished Iowa career.

“I think that was something cool for whoever was to win the NFT, to see what gets me locked in, what gets me to be able to succeed at the highest level,” Garza said.Parts of his sale will be donated to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital, so “it’s for a good cause, as well,” Garza added.

Garza’s announcement came after his four-season college career reached its conclusion in the second round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Meaning he’s now free to accept compensation related to his athletic success without violating NCAA rules and jeopardizing eligibility.

The U.S. Supreme Court also recently heard a case regarding education-related compensation for NCAA athletes.

Garza, an economics major, said he was grateful for the NCAA and the opportunity to have the scholarship to pursue basketball and education concurrently. Nevertheless, he complimented those pushing for expanding NIL rights, such as his Iowa teammate Jordan Bohannon.

“I stand with the changing times, and I think … this is something that could pave the way maybe for college athletes in the future to be able to do this and make money off their name, image and likeness through something like an NFT,” Garza told CNBC.

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