UConn star Paige Bueckers clears the air on debate between NIL and WNBA salaries: “Really not that hard to educate yourself”

Connecticut v IowaUConn guard Paige Bueckers attempts a layup.

UConn star guard Paige Bueckers has cleared the air on the debate between NIL and WNBA salaries, pointing out that NIL deals in college are similar to the endorsements WNBA players earn in the professional ranks.

Bueckers was part of an exclusive conversation in TOGETHXR about NIL along with former Seattle Storm player Sue Bird, Indiana Fever forward and reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike.

The senior guard pointed out that the NIL becomes endorsement deals that a women’s basketball player earns aside from the salary she gains from playing in the league.

“You’re making NIL in college. Once you get to the WNBA those endorsements are gonna follow you on top of the salary that you’re also now making which you didn’t have in college,” Bueckers said.

The $1 million NIL-valued Bueckers (per On3) shot down misconceptions of the NIL deals and pointed out that people who make false narratives about the subject tend to mislead others.

“It’s really not that hard to educate yourself, but it’s like people who create these narratives in their head and it’s so hard to undo it because people then just follow those narratives. And then people who don’t know nothing follow other people who don’t know nothing, and it’s just like a bunch of people who know nothing,” she added.

Paige Bueckers discusses the decision to stay in UConn

In the same conversation in TOGETHXR, Paige Bueckers talked about how some people had the misconception that she stayed in UConn to get more money.

“Ever since I announced, you just look at the comments be like, ‘Yeah, she’s staying because she’s gonna make so much more money staying in college than in the WNBA,’” Bueckers said.

Bueckers emphasized that the NIL deals are similar to endorsement deals in the WNBA and only the title changes.

“Because like NIL, nothing changes. It’s just like once you get to the league like the title changes, it’s no longer an NIL deal. It’s just an endorsement deal,” Bueckers said.

In the just-concluded season, Bueckers played for 39 games and averaged 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. She also helped the team reach the Final Four, where they lost to the Caitlin Clark-led Iowa Hawkeyes.

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