- Antoine Davis was one of the best scorers in the country in each of the last four college basketball seasons.
- After announcing his intent to transfer, he decided to stay at a smaller school in part because of NIL.
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The University of Detroit Mercy is not what you would consider a “basketball powerhouse.” The Titans have made the NCAA Tournament only one time since the turn of the century.
Despite the lack of recent success, Detroit’s men’s basketball program received huge news on Monday afternoon. Star guard Antoine Davis decided to return for a fifth year instead of transferring to a bigger program and NIL had a direct influence.
Davis, who plays for his father and head coach Mike Davis, was the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2019, First-team All-Horizon League in all four years and was named the Horizon League co-Player of the Year in 2022. He entered the transfer portal after the 2021/22 season.
After entering the portal with more than 2,700 career points to his name, Davis was one of the top players on the market. He had narrowed-down his options to Maryland, BYU, Kansas State and Georgetown, or a return to Detroit, and visited all four schools.
Ultimately, he ended up staying home.
the city❤️ pic.twitter.com/HiRnG0X86E
— Antoine Davis🦋 (@Youngdvs13) May 9, 2022
Antoine Davis announced on Monday that he was going to run it back for one final year with his dad at Detroit.
And in the process, he is going to get paid. He reportedly signed a new NIL deal with GlowBalls, a Chinese basketball manufacturer.
The deal, which is reportedly worth in excess of six figures, will feature custom basketballs with logos and designed by Davis and his marketing team. It had a direct impact on his decision on where to continue his collegiate career.
To make the decision even cooler, Davis plans to split the deal with teammates.
Antoine Davis told @Stadium he will remain at Detroit and finish his career playing for the Titans. Was leaning towards BYU, but source said NIL deals — which he will split with teammates — helped him decide to remain at UD.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 9, 2022
Davis was considered the seventh-best available prospect in the NCAA transfer portal this year. He finished third in the nation in scoring last season with 23.9 points per game and finished in the top four for scoring with higher averages in each of the previous three seasons.
Although Davis’ presence doesn’t necessarily make Detroit a factor in the Horizon League— as we have seen the last four years — it doesn’t hurt. This is also the first time that we have seen NIL keep a player at a smaller school rather than transferring.