In brief

  • Gonzaga star and NBA prospect Jalen Suggs is selling his own NFT, along with a pair of signed shoes.
  • He's the latest basketball player to join the NFT fray.

Top NBA prospect Jalen Suggs is selling a clip of the greatest moment from his college career as a non-fungible token, or NFT.

“This moment was just the beginning. As I officially turn pro, The Shot is now a 1-of-1 NFT, accompanied by my signed, game-worn shoes from the semis,” Suggs tweeted yesterday.

On Monday, Suggs put his token up for auction on NFT marketplace OpenSea, and the auction will run until Friday at 3pm EST. So far, bidding has reached up to 0.6 ETH ($1,360) but it has yet to meet the undisclosed reserve price.

Suggs is an American basketball player who played for Gonzaga University in Washington during the 2020-2021 NCAA season. On April 19, he declared for the 2021 NBA Draft, which means he will not return for his sophomore year, and is no longer bound by NCAA eligibility rules—thus he can profit from his name, image, and likeness.

The NFT artwork depicts the moment when Suggs jumped onto the scorer's table and fist-pumped after hitting the game-winning half-court shot on April 4 against UCLA in the Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament to send the team to the national championship. (Gonzaga lost the championship game to Baylor.) Visually, the artwork appears to get hotter, a reference to Suggs’s nickname JSizzles.

Suggs has also autographed the shoes he wore during the match-winning moment. They will be sent to the holder of the NFT when the auction ends, in yet another example of physical ownership rights being attached to a digital token.

NBA goes NFT

NFTs are unique, blockchain-based digital tokens that can represent ownership of a piece of audio, visual or video content. Over recent months they’ve surged in popularity as artists, celebrities and brands have boarded the hype train, but some have raised questions about what ownership rights they confer on the NFT owner.

The NBA has gone all in on NFTs by approving NBA Top Shot, the NFT platform from Dapper Labs where fans have paid in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars for digital highlight videos.

And Suggs isn't the first college basketball player to create an NFT in recent weeks. Earlier this month, University of Iowa senior Luka Garza created his own and it came with a number of physical items and passes for in-person events. Former USC star Evan Mobley followed with his own NFT “rookie card,” which has a current bid of 2.1 ETH ($4,815). Interestingly, the official USC Men's Basketball Twitter account promoted the NFT sale, a sign of colleges and universities beginning to get much more comfortable with student athletes' business endeavors.