KU’s Dickinson implies NIL a factor in transfer

Former Michigan basketball star Hunter Dickinson implied that an increase in his name, image and likeness earnings played a role in his decision to transfer to Kansas.

Dickinson, an Associated Press All-American honorable mention who averaged 18.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game as a junior at Michigan last season, said his critics would also make a move for a pay raise during his appearance on his “Roundball” podcast Tuesday.

“The people hating on me would leave their job right now for a $10,000 increase,” Dickinson said. “I got, at Michigan, less than six figures. I got less than six figures at Michigan for the year.”

Dickinson, the No. 1 transfer in ESPN’s rankings, said he made a “selfish” decision. His arrival elevated Kansas — a team that will return K.J. Adams Jr. and Dajuan Harris while adding key transfers — to the No. 2 spot in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings.

Dickinson also said he still has an appreciation for his time at Michigan, but at times, last season “sucked because we lost” and he received a lot of criticism from Michigan fans for his brash personality.

Dickinson wore a ski mask to a Wisconsin game last season a day after the Michigan State mass shooting, a move that angered Michigan officials. Dickinson reportedly said he wore the ski mask because he wanted to “steal a win” against the rival Badgers.

“I still do love Michigan,” he said. “I still love the school and everything. I love the program. That’s why it was so hard to leave because I really didn’t want to leave, I didn’t. But I just felt like, man, it was the best decision for me. It took a lot of courage. I don’t think people realize how much courage it took for a guy who was there for three years, an All-American for the team. I did have a legacy there and I basically gave that up to try to be selfish and do what’s best for me and my career, not what’s best for anybody else’s career.”

Dickinson said he strongly considered every school on his list. He called Kentucky a “risk” but said coach John Calipari’s reputation of sending big men to the NBA was a factor. At Villanova, Dickinson said he loved its playing style and the “family” approach to the program. Maryland would have been a homecoming for him, after growing up in the D.C. area. But Kansas, he said, felt like the best option.

“I think this is the best place for me,” he said. “It checks all the boxes. Worst-case scenario, it still works out fine for me [at Kansas].”

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