Busting Brackets

Kansas State Basketball: Wildcats land Illinois star Coleman Hawkins in monumental NIL deal

Jerome Tang with another portal splash, landing one of the best bigs available in Hawkins.
Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Illinois transfer Coleman Hawkins, one of the best bigs from the portal, has committed to Jerome Tang and Kansas State, landing a NIL deal north of $2 million, according to Matt Norlander, CBS Sports Senior Writer.

Hawkins, who spent four years at Illinois, averaged 12.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 2.7 APG on 36.9% shooting from three last season on a Fighting Illini squad that finished 29-9 (14-6) and reached the Elite Eight -- their first trip to the second weekend since 2005.

After originally entering the 2024 NBA Draft, Hawkins withdrew his name at the deadline in late May, which immediately made him one of the more coveted players available in the portal. 

But landing Hawkins would come with a lucrative price tag.

After receiving interest from the likes of Louisville, SMU, LSU, North Carolina, and Arkansas, Hawkins decided to take his talents to Manhattan, Kansas in a monumental NIL deal that is “believed to be the most lucrative college basketball NIL deal ($2 million) negotiated from a collective by Nate Conley of Court XIV and Aaron Turner of Versus Basketball

,” according to a tweet from NBA insider Shams Charania.

Now set to sport the royal purple, the versatile, playmaking forward immediately cements the new-look Kansas State Wildcats into the preseason top-25 conversation after missing out on the NCAA Tournament last season.

Jerome Tang will welcome eight new players to the Little Apple in their overhauled roster, including the likes of Dug McDaniel (Michigan), Ugonna Onyenso (Kentucky), Achor Achor (Samford) and Max Jones (Cal State Fullerton).

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With the addition of Coleman Hawkins and an influx of talented transfers, the Kansas State Wildcats are poised to have one of the highest upsides of the 2024-25 men’s college basketball season in the ultra-competitive 16-team Big 12.