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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren agrees to NIL deal with trading card company Topps

Gonzaga Bulldogs center Chet Holmgren (34) shoots against Pepperdine Waves guard Darryl Polk Jr. (2) during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Jan 8, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Three months ago, Chet Holmgren signed on with the WME sports agency to aid him in the name, image and likeness space. The Gonzaga freshman officially signed his first NIL deal on Wednesday with trading card company Topps.

A press release from Topps Company, Inc. didn’t specify the nature of Holmgren’s partnership with the company but noted it’s the biggest NIL deal Topps has made with a collegiate athlete.

The deal will include “physical and digital trading cards, rights for products such as Bowman University Basketball and Bowman NEXT, autographed trading cards and curated social media content,” according to the press release.

“I am beyond excited to be partnering with such an iconic company like Topps who has showcased some of the best athletes in the world over the last 80 years,” Holmgren said in the release. “I’m looking forward to teaming up with Topps as they continue to capture the action of the game and I’m excited to share my passion of basketball with fans and collectors around the world.”

Holmgren’s card portfolio will feature a player-curated set, an artist-based set and fan-favorite Topps NOW cards that capture highlights from Gonzaga’s 2021-22 basketball season. The company also will release a limited edition card, with 100% of proceeds going to Can Do Canines, a non-profit organization chosen by Holmgren.

Through the first 14 games of Holmgren’s freshmen season, the 7-footer is averaging 13.4 points per game, 8.4 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 2.2 assists. Holmgren was recently named to the Wooden midseason Top 25 list along with Gonzaga teammate and frontcourt mate Drew Timme.

Timme has also explored the NIL space since the NCAA passed legislation last summer allowing college athletes to seek sponsorship opportunities. The junior forward signed his first NIL deal with mobile phone company Boost! and has also agreed to partnerships with Northern Quest Casino in Spokane and Walker’s Furniture.