Only smiles and tears of joy now for jubilant Boston (3:36)

One year after a heartbreaking loss in the national semifinals, South Carolina's Aliyah Boston says she's all smiles. 3:44

7:10 AM ET

College athletes were able to make money for the first time in July of 2021. They or brands were able to take advantage of it quickly.

There have been swift changes in the NIL market. The biggest names in men's and women's basketball are still popular. National brands have been less influential than local and regional sponsors.

That means what? Athletes with a lot of followers still get paid. The rest of the field benefits from a combination of elite basketball skills, a large social media following, an affiliation with a program or market with a strong economic engine and their future potential. In college basketball, the ability to carry a team to a national title is important. The metrics around marketability are still being worked on. Every player on our list has developed relationships with agents or companies that suggest their NIL futures are bright. Our information was gathered from a variety of sources, including Opendorse and social media metrics.

Due to an unfortunate knee injury, last year's most popular athlete will not be on the show. Bueckers is the most popular college athlete. Crocs and Gatorade have sponsorship deals with the former Wooden Award winner.

South Carolina's Aliyah Boston is the reigning women's Wooden Award winner, a national champion -- and the most marketable college player right now. SEC Staff

1. Aliyah Boston, South Carolina Gamecocks

In the past year, the most dominant force in women's college basketball has picked up NIL deals from some of the biggest brands in the world. Boston, the reigning women's Wooden Award winner, is now represented by Klutch Sports, the same group that represents King James, and will only increase her brand during the 2022-23 season.

2. Hanna and Haley Cavinder, Miami Hurricanes

The twins had an average of 34 points per game before they transferred to Miami. They'll take their 5 million followers on social media and the $1 million-plus they've reportedly made in NIL deals to the South.

3. Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky Wildcats

The reigning men's college basketball Wooden Award winner is coming back for another season to try and win a title. He has made close to $3 million in NIL deals. The projected second-round pick would make less money than that.

Grew up collecting trading cards... now Topps and I have partnered to officially create my own :) Could not be more grateful and excited 🤍

— Caitlin Clark (@CaitlinClark22) July 26, 2022

4. Caitlin Clark, Iowa Hawkeyes

The Big Ten women's basketball player of the year is an automatic bucket no matter where she is on the floor, which is why she has attracted praise from the likes of Stephen Curry. Major brands have seen it. Tax preparation company H&R Block is one of the companies that the junior has deals with.

5. Hailey Van Lith, Louisville Cardinals

Van Lith's brand has continued to grow after she helped her team make a run to the Final Four. She is one of just 15 women's college athletes that Adidas has signed, and she has deals with several retailers.

6. Shaqir O'Neal, Texas Southern Tigers

The son of a Hall of Fame center and an entertainment mogul knows how to market himself. His 4.5 million-plus social media followers helped the redshirt freshman sign a lucrative deal with a British apparel company.

7. Amari Bailey, UCLA Bruins

Bailey bought his mother a car with the NIL money he received as a prep star, and he's going to make more money at UCLA.

Azzi Fudd signed an NIL deal with Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry's management company in December, which should boost her marketability in her sophomore season at UConn. Kelly Kline

8. Azzi Fudd, UConn Huskies

Fudd, who averaged over 12 points per game in the previous two seasons, should play a bigger role this season. The freshman signed NIL deals with a number of companies last year.

9. Sedona Prince, Oregon Ducks

The difference in the men's and women's NCAA tournament weight rooms made her go viral with the help of more than 3.5 million followers. Prince is one of the faces of women's basketball and NIL, and her portfolio includes a deal with Crocs and an equity partnership with a beverage company. She charges a minimum of 5000 for an appearance.

In returning for his senior season at Gonzaga, Drew Timme remains one of the most marketable college basketball players in the country. Young Kwak/AP

10. Drew Timme, Gonzaga Bulldogs

After testing the NBA draft waters, the Wooden Award contender returned to college basketball and will lead the team to its first national title. His talent and personality have helped him get regional deals, such as with a local casino. As the season begins, expect more.

Anyone, Anywhere can accomplish their dreams in #NBA2K22. So excited to be a part of this legacy. Happy #2KDay

For more, check out @NBA2K on YouTube

— haley jones (@haleyjoness19) September 11, 2021

11. Haley Jones, Stanford Cardinal

Jones stated in a recent interview that she is a student-athletes first and also a businesswoman. The Pac-12 women's player of the year has a deal with both the NBA2K video game and Beats by Dre headphones, thanks to the help of the PRP sports management agency.

12. Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles

According to Opendorse, Bates initially committed to Michigan State in high school but then signed with Memphis before entering the transfer portal. He still has 428,000 followers on social media and has a chance to change the narrative in a smaller spotlight that is closer to his hometown.

13. Deja Kelly, North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels are determined to make it past the Sweet 16 this season despite the return of the junior who was named first-team all-ACC. Kelly is the proud owner of a BMW SUV that she bought with money received from NIL deals with brands such as Essentia Water and Beats by Dre.

14. Armando Bacot, North Carolina Tar Heels

Being a leader at a school like North Carolina is important. The senior, who became the first player in NCAA tournament history with six double-doubles in one tournament last season, will make more than $500,000 in NIL deals in 2022-23.

15. Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead, Duke Blue Devils

2 men's college basketball recruits have already hired agents to represent them on NIL deals before they've even played their first collegiate games A smart move for the projected 2023 NBA draft lottery picks, and two of the young faces of college basketball's most powerful brand, a school that recently hired Rachel Baker, who previously worked for the NBA and Nike.

16. Angel Reese, LSU Tigers

Kim Mulkey's second LSU team has three other transfers, including Reese, the top one available this off-season. Her own clothing line is available online and she has deals with several online retailers.

17. Zia Cooke, South Carolina Gamecocks

One of college basketball's most diverse NIL portfolios can be traced back to the all-SEC second-teamer. She has deals with Bojangles, Dick's Sporting Goods and the U.S. government, as well as releasing a new song via NFT, and she is the face of H&R Block's "A Fair Shot" initiative.

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18. Jahvon Quinerly, Alabama Crimson Tide

The leader of a cult basketball crew, Quinerly, charges a minimum of $80 for a personalized message. The senior guard, who has more than 400,000 followers on the social media site, has also released his own brand of grape Jelly, along with his own clothing line.

19. Hercy Miller, Louisville Cardinals

The son of rapper Master P has been hanging out with rapper Jack Harlow and taking selfies in mansions this summer. He signed a $2 million NIL deal with a tech company last year, and transferring to the Louisville brand should help him make more money.

20. G.G. Jackson, South Carolina Gamecocks

After decommitting from North Carolina, he signed with Carolina Rise. Jackson could be the most important recruit in the history of South Carolina men's basketball, and a fan base that wants to win big will reward the five-star freshman for his decision with significant NIL opportunities.

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21. Doug Edert, Bryant Bulldogs

Edert and his famous mustache have gained a lot of followers on social media since he led Saint Peter's to a first-round upset victory in the NCAA tournament. During the tournament, Buffalo Wild Wings almost immediately signed a deal with the senior point guard, who has since transferred to Bryant.

22. Hunter Dickinson, Michigan Wolverines

Dickinson told a reporter that his decision to return to Michigan for his junior year included his NIL potential and the chance to not have to worry about money. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, the 7-foot-1 center, who averaged 18.6PPG and 8.6RPG last season, has already landed a major deal with a restaurant.

23. Gradey Dick, Kansas Jayhawks

The first Kansas player to sign with a major management firm was the McDonald's All-American. When he takes the court for the reigning men's national champ in Lawrence, his followers will only increase.

24. Jaden Owens, Baylor Bears

The guard has more than 400,000 followers on two social media sites. She has deals with major brands and has been an advocate for equitable NIL deals.

25. Rori Harmon, Texas Longhorns

When she led the Longhorns to the Big 12 tournament title, she increased her profile. She got a deal with Wingstop after just one year on campus.