Washington — a projected first-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft and the No. 14 recruit in this season’s freshman class, according to ESPN — announced Wednesday night that he’d signed a deal with a Porsche dealership in Louisville, Kentucky.
The newest model of the Porsche Cayenne SUV that Washington is driving in his Instagram photos sells for more than $80,000, per Porsche’s website.
As a beneficiary of new name, image and likeness rules effective for collegiate athletes this year, Washington and his peers can now sign deals to get cars and other luxurious items that would have rendered them ineligible for NCAA competition or subjected them to other sanctions just a few months ago.
Washington is expected to play a key role for a Kentucky team — ranked 10th in the Associated Press preseason poll — that’s searching for its first Final Four appearance since 2015 while aiming to erase the memory of last season’s 9-16 campaign, one of the worst in school history.
At his team’s media day Wednesday, coach John Calipari said players are not coming to Kentucky for NIL opportunities, but he also added that his team has taken advantage of them.
“They don’t come here because of name, image and likeness, but let me say this: To this point, our players have the most [NIL] transactions on our campus, and there is only really 10 of them taking advantage, and they have the most transactions on this campus,” he said. “They are benefiting [from] this.”