Bueckers held a unique place in basketball for quite some time. She was the No. 1 recruit in the nation from her high school in Minnesota and burdened with expectations of being UConn’s next big star. As a freshman, she racked up major accolades and took the Huskies to the Final Four.
Her second season was more trying – she tore her lateral meniscus and fractured the anterior tibial plateau of her left knee in December. Bueckers returned Friday after a nearly three-month absence, but she’s a dynamic enough player that few doubt she could still spark a national championship run for the Huskies.
NIL added to his growing stature. Although only 20% of the 100 highest-earning college athletes are women, according to an Opendorse study through October shared with AthleticismBueckers was an outlier.
In July, she filed a trademark for her nickname “Paige Buckets.” She announced a deal in November with StockX, an online footwear and merchandise retailer. Soon after, she became the first college athlete to represent Gatorade — going from winning her National Women’s Basketball Player of the Year award in 2020 to replacing the company in a few years. In February, she announced a shorter-term partnership with Cash App. Opendorse estimates that they can probably command more than $60,000 for an Instagram post promoting a brand.
Forbes recently estimated that she was “a few deals away” from hitting $1 million in endorsements.