Kiszla: Stroking his moneymaker, Gonzaga forward Drew Timme shakes green cash from the trees

True confession: I walked in the Gonzaga locker room for the sole purpose of getting an up close and personal look at Drew Timme’s moneymaker.

And I’ve got to admit, it’s far more glorious than I could’ve possibly imagined.

“The mustache is my moneymaker,” Timme said Saturday.

He makes big money by stroking a sweet jump shot and his moneymaker. Is this a great country, or what?

In the one-and-done era of college basketball, the dude who looks like White Goodman from the movie “Dodgeball” endures. Timme is the hirsute superstar of the hardwood. He’s a senior on one, last glorious ride through March Madness with the Gonzaga program.

More importantly, his mustache makes Timme the poster child for why the ability of players to capitalize on their name, image and likeness with endorsement deals works. And how that can be a very good deal for college basketball.

Oh, Timme has got some serious offensive skills, but it’s his glorious facial hair that earns him a six-figure income, as he rakes in cash from the likes of Dollar Shave Club and Pringles.

Asked if he would still be hitting big shots for Gonzaga without NIL money, Timme replied: “I’m not going to lie … probably not.”

He plays with a slo-mo mojo Nuggets center Nikola Jokic could appreciate, but  “The Stash” makes Timme an immediately recognizable brand on any court he steps on, anywhere in America.

“You’re going to be a great Shanghai Shark!” a heckler in Ball Arena shouted Friday night at Timme. He just grinned and laughed all the way to the bank, scoring 21 points against Grand Canyon, helping the Zags win their opening game in a tournament where upsets drive the madness for the 14th time in a row.

These days, three of the most controversial words in college sports are name, image and likeness, which have allowed athletes to take home a piece of the big bucks previously hoarded by big-name coaches who long benefited from dirt-cheap labor.

The absence of meaningful NIL regulation by any governing body, from the NCAA to the United States government, combined with a wide-open transfer portal that allows players to leap from one program to another without so much as a second thought, has turned looking out for No. 1 into all the rage.

But there can be a happy flipside. A year ago, after calculating he would probably be no better than a late second-round pick in the NBA draft, making it uncertain he would stick full-time with a team, Timme hunkered down, did some more math and realized earning at least $500,000 from NIL was a very realistic possibility if he returned for another season at Gonzaga, where basketball has always felt like family to him.

Yes, there is always the possibility that a stack of Benjamins could turn team chemistry into a queasy shade of green, born of envy. “A player that isn’t a starter making a lot of more money than the starters, I could see that as being a problem,” Timme said.

These Zags, however, run loose and …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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