It was a huge week of recruiting news for the class of 2023. Let’s first start with #1 overall recruit DJ Wagner. The Wagner recruitment Saga is one of the wildest in recent memory. For the longest time, DJ was a lock to Kentucky. His Dad played under Cal at Memphis, his brother Kareem Watkins plays at UK, and his former high school teammate at Camden is Lance Ware. However, Kenny Payne being hired at Louisville shifted the tides in the recruitment. And after Payne brought in Milt Wagner – DJ’s grandfather – to join his staff, everyone expected him to commit to our rival up North.
However, as we at Blue Chips have been saying for about a month now, UK really never lost the momentum in Wagner’s recruitment. They ignored the national media’s perception and keep working – and it looks like that hard work is coming to fruition. Last week, nearly every major recruiting analyst, including Travis Branham, Jamie Shaw, Travis Graf, among others flipped their predictions back to UK. A commitment from the #1 player in the class appears imminent – and Kentucky could have it all locked up by the end of the summer.
Even greater news for the 2023 class – as if stealing the #1 recruit in the country from our biggest rival wasn’t enough fun, how about stealing the #3 recruit in the country from our second biggest rival as well. For the majority of the summer, #3 ranked Justin Edwards – a 6’7 SF from Philadelphia – has been viewed as a Tennessee lock. Recent events however indicate that Edwards has flipped, and will be playing ball in Lexington instead. Just as in DJ’s recruitment, all major analysts have flipped their predictions to Kentucky. Edwards is apparently set to commit and announce his choice the Monday after the Nike Peach Jam on July 25th.
Kentucky is still the front-runner for 7-foot, five-star center Aaron Bradshaw as well. A commitment should be coming by the end of the summer. According to sources close to Bradshaw, he’s 100% all-in, but just needs the thumbs up from his mom.
To sum all of this up, Kentucky’s class by the end of the summer could (should) be: DJ Wagner (#1 CG, #1 OVR), Justin Edwards (#1 SF, #3 OVR), Robert Dillingham (#1 PG, #7 OVR), Aaron Bradshaw (#2 C, #15 OVR) and Reed Sheppard (#5 CG, #21 OVR). This absolutely loaded class would propel Kentucky past Duke and North Carolina for the #1 spot on all recruiting sites, and give the Cats their best class since 2013.
Lastly, Kentucky announced an additional game for the 2022-23 season. The North Florida Ospreys will return to Rupp Arena for the 2nd straight season and take on the Cats on November 18th. Last year the Cats won the matchup convincingly 86-52 – Oscar Tshiebwe poured in 12 points and 16 rebounds, and Sahvir Wheeler finished with 12 points and 14 assists. With the addition of North Florida, here is what we have thus far for Kentucky’s non-conference schedule this upcoming season:
- TBA: Duquesne – Rupp Arena
- November 15: Michigan State (Champions Classic) – Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
- November 18: North Florida – Rupp Arena
- November 29: Bellarmine – Rupp Arena
- December 4: Michigan – The O2 Arena (London, England)
- December 17: UCLA (CBS Sports Classic) – Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
- December 31: Louisville – Rupp Arena
- January 28: Kansas (Big 12/SEC Challenge) – Rupp Arena
Secondary Sales Update
- 2022 John Calipari Premier Edition, Edition #25, Sale Price $55
- 2022 Davion Mintz Rare Edition, Edition #10, Sale Price $40
- 2022 Kellan Grady Rare Edition, Edition #11, Sale Price $30
- 2022 Keion Brooks Jr. Rare Edition, Edition #9, Sale Price $30
PSG to sell 30 million yen worth of tickets in NFTs!
Paris Saint-Germain F.C. has reportedly stated its plans to support the NFT market. The winning soccer team, which also won the French Ligue 1, is selling NFTs tickets for 30 million yen. Tickets are being offered for the football club’s friendly games against regional teams in Japan.
For the three games that are planned as part of PSG’s Japan tour, the team’s official website serves as the trading platform.
The NFT ticket will offer further perks, which increases the appeal of the ticket. The NFT ticket is designed to grant the holder additional access to the VIP area and party at the stadium with the players.
New platform allows high school athletes to design, sell NFT trading cards
This idea is about to enter the high school and college sports sphere. VerifiedInk announced Friday the upcoming launch of its marketplace that will allow athletes to design and sell NFTs and keep 94% of the profits.
The kickoff, scheduled for July 19, will be headlined by an NFT designed by the No. 1 boys basketball prospect in the class of 2024, Naasir Cunningham. The shooting guard is one of more than 500 high school and collegiate athletes who are part of the platform, according to a press release from VerifiedInk.
“NIL rule changes have unlocked opportunities for pre-professional athletes to begin sharing in the profits of the multi-billion-dollar sports that they fuel,” Slutzky said in a statement.
Topps Announces 2022 MLB All-Star Activities with NFT Collection, On-Site Exclusives and Collectibles
The Topps Company, Inc., a division of Fanatics Collectibles, a next-gen physical and digital trading card company, today announced plans for MLB All-Star Week including a 2022 Topps MLB All-Star Game NFT Collection sale, on-site exclusive MLB All-Star NFT giveaway, and special prizes for engaging with Topps BUNT MLB Card Trader app themed interactives, as well as a post-event collection challenge incorporating results from the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard and T-Mobile Home Run Derby.
The all-original designs for the All-Star NFT Collection feature California motifs of beach waves, stars, retrowave designs and palm trees to celebrate the game taking place in Los Angeles. Collectors can celebrate the best American and National League players as voted on by fans in phase one of the All-Star voting process
The 2022 Topps MLB All-Star Game NFT Collection will be available for purchase as weekend festivities commence on Thursday, July 14 at 1 p.m. ET exclusively on ToppsNFTs.com, with card rarities ranging from Uncommon to Legendary.
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Photo Credit: Go Big Blue Country