Kenny Brooks stresses importance of NIL to women’s basketball

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison04/01/24


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It’s a new era for women’s basketball at Kentucky, with Kenny Brooks taking over as the team’s next head coach. As he looks to make his mark on the program, NIL is already a clear focus for Brooks.

At his introductory press conference, Brooks stressed the importance of NIL to women’s basketball and the Kentucky program moving forward.

“You said we only had 30 minutes to talk,” Kenny Brooks joked. “Obviously, NIL is something that’s very, very important. I’ve had discussions, preliminary discussions, and been able to express the importance of NIL.”

Kentucky is coming off a season where the Wildcats finished 12th in the SEC during the regular season. It was also the second season in a row where the Wildcats finished with a losing record for the season. Now, Kenny Brooks is looking to find a way to compete in a very talented SEC.

“Obviously, this league is abundant with some teams with their NIL opportunities. I think if you are going to be competitive, you have to be in that category. You have to be in the ballpark. I don’t know if you have to be a leader in the ballpark, but you have to be in the ballpark and I think that is something that is very, very important. It has burst onto the scene and is kind of grown in the last couple of years. Trying to wrap your head around it. I think we are going to have multiple discussions about that situation,” Brooks said.

“But I think it’s a necessity, I really do, to be able to compete in the best league in the country.”

For Kenny Brooks, finding a way to have success in the world of NIL takes multiple steps. Among those steps are receiving support and understanding the realities of NIL.

“That’s where we are going to need a lot of people’s support in a lot of different ways. And I think that as we continue to educate ourselves on NIL and what it actually is and not what it was perceived to be a few years ago. I think it’s changed and I think the importance of it is well-documented now and is a necessity in order for you to be able to compete. I’m looking forward to those conversations, but it is something that is a high priority on our list.”

Kenny Brooks looking to awaken a ‘sleeping giant’ at Kentucky

Despite the lack of recent success within the Kentucky program, Kenny Brooks believes the team is a sleeping giant that he wants to awaken.

“As I continued to research everything about Kentucky — I know that the academics here are wonderful. I know that the fan base is very passionate. I know that the resources will allow you to get to a level where you can compete with anyone,” Brooks said.

“I know it’s in a rich history of the SEC, and the SEC’s leadership and where it’s going, you want to be aligned with that to try to create something very, very special. When I added all that up, what I came up with was it’s gonna be a sleeping giant and it just needs to be awakened.”