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STUDENT ATHLETES

TyTy Washington: Promise, Projections, and Porsches

He arrived with a bevy of endorsements and big potential for pro success. Before he had played one game for Kentucky, the TyTy Washington brand was already formidable.

Kentucky’s TyTy Washington wasn’t the No. 1 ranked recruit in his class, or even the top 10. He also doesn’t play for a top-five team (at the moment). Yet Washington begins his collegiate career with the diverse brand portfolio in men’s college basketball.

It’s a combination of his skill, his style, and the storied program he chose.

Washington’s talent is undeniable. Even after a Kentucky loss to Duke to open the season in which he struggled from the field, head coach John Calipari was adamant that Washington needs to keep firing.

“TyTy played the way he did because we kind of wanted him to,” the UK boss said after Washington’s 3-14 shooting performance. “He took more shots in this game than the two exhibition games. And part of that was me saying, Look, I want you to go at these dudes.”

TyTy as a Prospect

A 5-star recruit coming out of Arizona’s Compass Prep and the No. 15 overall player in the class of 2021 according to 247Sports, Washington is a one-and-done player and a first-round pick unless something wild and unforeseen happens. Most current 2022 NBA Draft projections have him going in the back half of the lottery.

After the Champions Classic against Duke, ESPN updated its mock draft, putting Washington at 11th overall despite a subpar performance. Yahoo has him even higher, projecting him ninth while touting his ability to score at every level.

Washington playing alongside Sahvir Wheeler will give Kentucky one of the more dynamic backcourts in the country, but it also might limit Washington’s exposure as a point guard. Through two games, KenPom estimates Wheeler has played 77% of his team’s possessions at the point, compared to just 15% for Washington. He’s touted as a great ball-handler and can distribute, but we’re still unsure how often scouts will be able to see that this season.

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TyTy Washington’s NIL Deals

Washington is not only racking up the endorsements at speed, but he’s doing so with some big names across multiple industries. This isn’t a guy who is satisfied making t-shirts with his name on them and plugging his merchandise on Instagram.

Those guys don’t show up on campus in this:

That’s courtesy of Blue Grass Motorsport Porsche in Louisville. Washington also announced on Instagram that he had picked up a national deal with Gatorade, though that post has since been deleted. Here’s an up-to-date list on every company that Washington has signed with:

Washington has plenty on his plate and has signed with agent Kevin Bradbury from Rep1 Sports to represent him on NIL deals.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Social Reach

Washington doesn’t have the most prolific social reach as things stand, but his following has grown steadily since the start of the college basketball season in short order. Here’s where it stands now:

Twitter: 10,066 followers
Instagram: 41,032 followers
TikTok: 2,594 followers
Cameo: $65 per request

TyTy in the Community

Since the practice began in the fall, Washington has also started a not-for-profit to help the community in Lexington and in his home state of Arizona. He is asking all potential NIL business opportunities to commit to a 10% donation.

The TyTy Washington Foundation has already received official recognition from the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity. It will work over the holiday season to provide gift cards to single mothers in need, student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, and specially-nominated teachers.

And that’s only part of what he’s done.

He’s worked with NIL partner T.R.A.P. House Clothing on a back-to-school backpack giveaway in Tempe, donated a shooting machine to a local high school through Airborne Athletics, and is supplying apparel for Arizona boys and girls basketball teams.

He also plans to sponsor end-of-year trophies for a 7U Arizona football team.