Big 12 News

Report: K-State Lands Illinois Transfer Coleman Hawkins with the Help of a Historic $2M NIL Deal

Mar 30, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (33) attempts to dribble against the Connecticut Huskies in the finals of the East Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Tang and the Kansas State Wildcats aren’t trying to miss the NCAA Tournament two seasons in a row, and on Friday, it appears the Cats have put their money where their mouth is.

According to Shams Charania, NBA Insider for The Athletic and Stadium, K-State has landed a commitment from Illinois transfer Coleman Hawkins, and did so with what is believed to be the most lucrative college basketball NIL deal ever negotiated by a collective.

Hawkins—a 6-foot-10 forward—is reportedly set to earn $2 million, per Charania’s report. A CBS Sports report confirmed that the deal was “a little north of $2 million.”


Getting Hawkins for his final season of college basketball might be well worth the money, too, as his addition gives Kansas State one of the best rosters in an incredibly deep 16-team Big 12.

One of the top-rated players to enter the portal this offseason—the No. 17 portal player and No. 2 PF according to On3—Hawkins averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season and helped lead the Fighting Illini to an Elite Eight appearance before falling to the eventual national champions, UConn.

Tang now has a pair of game-changing bigs to work with as Hawkins is likely to start alongside Samford transfer Achor Achor.

Hawkins caps a starting five that appears to consist of Dug McDaniel, CJ Jones, Ugonna Onyenso, and Achor, giving Coach Tang plenty to work with ahead of 2024-25.

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