Duke hires ex-Nike, NBA staffer to help players with NIL

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — New Duke men’s basketball coach Jon Scheyer has hired a former Nike and NBA staffer for a newly created position with duties that include overseeing basketball opportunities. name, image and likeness (NIL) for Blue Devils players.

The school announced on Tuesday the hiring of Rachel Baker as the program’s first executive director. Duke described Baker’s role as helping players “enhance their personal and professional skills,” including NIL partnerships through his experience in sports marketing.

In a statement, Scheyer highlighted Baker’s “basketball expertise” as a resource for players and their families. This precedes the first anniversary of college athletes allowed to enjoy their fame through NIL endorsements.

Baker spent eight years at Nike working with local partnerships and event strategy for the Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), which features top-ready prospects. She also managed strategic initiatives between Nike and NBA star Kevin Durant, one of the apparel maker’s signature athletes with his own line of footwear.

Baker’s year with the NBA included work on a task force to rename the WNBA.


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Darryl A. Chapin