NIL collective inks first deal, Shocker PG Craig Porter returning to Wichita State
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita State is keeping its starting point guard for another season. Junior Craig Porter finished the 2021-22 season strong for the Shockers and was a hot commodity in the transfer portal, targeted by several power-conference schools.
The establishment of an NIL collective for Wichita State played a huge role in getting Porter to leave the transfer portal and return to play his final college season for the Shockers. In tweeting a message to announce his return to Wichita, Porter gave “a huge thank you” to the NIL collective, Armchair Strategies and local businesses, Wichita Sports Forum, and Aegis Group for “hooking [him] up and keeping [him] a Shocker.”
The NIL, which stands for “Name and Image Likeness” allows college athletes to make money off their names and images. This allows for them to get paid through appearances and sponsorships.
Armchair Strategies confirmed Porter will receive a car in a sponsorship with local insurance company, Aegis Group, a signing bonus, and additional NIL-money-making opportunities with local businesses including the Wichita Sports Forum.
A lack of action in developing NIL opportunities for players was speculated as being a key reason several Shocker basketball players entered the transfer portal this offseason. Time will tell if more players in the portal follow Porter in deciding to return to Wichita State now that an NIL collective is established for WSU.
“The transfer portal is what it is. We can’t change it. We can’t do anything about it,” said Tymber Lee with Armchair Strategies. “Although I do believe that it plays a role in the magnet that either is gonna pull someone away somewhere else or keep them here.”
Lee is a former Wichita State baseball player who pitched for the Shockers in the late 1990s. With Armchair Strategies, he’s partnered with fellow former Shocker baseball player Tyler Weber, a standout catcher from the mid to late 2000s. The duo is working with representatives from 6th Man Strategies - Matt Baty, Andy Frieze and Chrissy Robben - who helped to secure NIL deals for KU athletes, including the national champion Jayhawk men’s basketball team.
Although Tuesday is the first day of the partnership, many current WSU athletes are excited about what this could mean for them. They’re also excited to reach back out to the community. Among those seeing the opportunities are WSU softball standouts Sydney McKinney and Addison Barnard.
“I think it’s huge that there’s an NIL collective now because opportunities for NIL at Wichita State haven’t been the biggest,” McKinney said.
Barnard said she’s looking forward to opportunities for connecting with people in the community.
“It’s gonna be great because I am a Nebraska kid, so I’m new to Kansas and Wichita,” she said. “And I want to be able to form connections with the people and the community and get to know people throughout that.”
Armchair Sports said it will soon share information for those interested in donating toward the collective.
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