Like it or not, the NIL era of college athletics is upon us. To compete at the highest level, teams have started to prioritize NIL as an important aspect of building a winning programs. Although many of the headlines in State College have been related to initiatives surrounding football, NIL opportunities for Penn State basketball players are starting to take center stage as well. The Nittany Lions basketball program got a major boost here earlier this week, as Happy Valley United announced the launch of a basketball-specific NIL club.
Happy Valley United launches More to Give NIL club for Penn State basketball
On Monday, Happy Valley United, the primary NIL collective for Penn State athletics, announced the launch of the More To Give club for the basketball program. The collective describes More to Give as, “a club within the collective dedicated to securing NIL opportunities for the men’s basketball team.”
Penn State basketball coach Mike Rhoades has been an outspoken advocate of NIL opportunities for his players. “NIL is an incredibly important part of building our program to win championships,” Rhoades said in the official announcement Monday.
Happy Valley United hired former Bucknell coach Pat Flannery as the general manager for the initiative. Flannery had previously worked in as Bucknell’s Senior Development Officer since retiring from the basketball program.
Rhoades spoke highly of the addition of Flannery, who shares the Penn State basketball coach’s Pennsylvania roots as a fellow Schuylkill County native.
“We have made our program better with the addition of Pat Flannery,” Rhoades said. “He knows what it takes to build a winning and sustainable program on and off the court. His leadership in the area of program building and fundraising will be game changing for our program. I’m more than excited to get back with Pat and using our shared Pennsylvania ties to build something special.”
More than just a name for Penn State
The name “More To Give” comes from former Penn State basketball player John Harrar, who experienced numerous setbacks during his Nittany Lion career. Through his adversity, Harrar continuously preached the values of hard work and selflessness for the Penn State basketball program.
More To Give will work to receive NIL fundraising through memberships, tax-deductible donations, and corporate sponsorships. Just like football, More To Give will be able to connect players and fans like never before.
But most importantly, efforts like this can help to attract top talent from across the country. Just this week, Mike Rhoades landed a commitment from Miles Goodman, the second-highest rated prospect in Penn State basketball history.
NIL fundraising has proven to go a long way in college basketball. Although late to the game, Penn State is taking a step in the right direction with the launch of More to Give.
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