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Friday, April 22, 2022

South Carolina’s Zia Cooke is One of the Highest Paid Athletes in College

Zia Cooke

Nationwide — Zia Cooke, a 21-year-old junior guard for the University of South Carolina’s women’s basketball team, has been named one of the highest-paid athletes in college basketball.

“It just shows that we can do a lot of things that a lot of people say we can’t do,” Cooke told CBS News. “To see all the girls on there for the NIL and I think it was just one boy it shows that we can do literally everything they can do. It’s a business and it’s super effective for women and men.”

With nearly 230,000 followers on Instagram, Cooke reportedly earns roughly $8,000 for every advertising post on her page. She recently partnered with several brands, including H&R Block which was her largest deal so far.

“It gave me a chance to show who I am for one minute,” she said. “I’ve done DoorDash, which was also super fun. I did Bojangles deals and I’ve done Fenty Skin, Rihanna’s line, so I have quite a bit and it’s just the beginning. I’m excited for what else is in store.”

Cooke is one of the college athletes who are benefitting from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that allows them to control their name, image, and likeness and earn from it.

Even though she earns her own money, she is more focused on continuously improving her skills and her brand.

“I really don’t even want to know how much money I have,” she said. “I haven’t looked at the account since I’ve started. Now I’m just trying to stay focused on my best work… I want to save because once you see the prices like you want to buy stuff like that.”

Moreover, Cooke, who is the leading scorer for the team, became a national champion after South Carolina won the 2022 NCAA tournament.

Follow her on Instagram @z.loading_

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