Last Updated on March 15, 2023
As part of their ‘Walk-On’ March Madness program, Degree is awarding five walk-on basketball student-athletes $25,000 to cover the average costs and living expenses of one year of college.
The brand has already selected four student-athletes, and to find the fifth they’re partnering with current Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nominations are open through March 19 using this link. The announcement of the selected student-athlete will be during the Men’s Final Four weekend in Houston.
“For me, I always believed that the work is never done, and to be great in this sport you have to have focus and determination every day,” Antetokounmpo said. “These four student athletes have overcome adversity and have an undeniable passion to continue playing the sport they love. As an official Degree 2023 partner for this year, I’m proud to kick off our partnership by finding and celebrating one more student-athlete who’s inspiring the next generation with their story and journey to get where they are today as a walk-on student athlete.”
Alongside monetary support, each walk-on will also receive a professional mentor from Degree’s parent company, Unilever, to guide each student-athlete as they navigate their college years and post-graduation success.
The Finalized Four
Andre Johnson Jr.
The freshman guard for the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team faced rescinded offers after suffering a season-ending ligament injury to his left arm his senior year of high school. Determined to continue his career at a high level, Johnson Jr. joined the UConn basketball team as a preferred walk-on and earned a roster spot.
Missing out on her freshman season at Haverford College due to COVID-19, Zwetzig transferred to Notre Dame her sophomore year and was prepared to hang up her sneakers for good. After cementing a role as the team’s manager, the now-junior guard made the practice squad, where she earned a walk-on position.
Although the Minnesota native received several offers from schools throughout her recruitment process, the freshman guard chose to attend the University of Wisconsin to pursue a future career in the nonprofit space. After spending time as a practice player, Porter earned a roster spot and is now a major contributor for the Badgers. She appeared in 27 out of a total 31 games for Wisconsin and even started a game back in November against VCU of this season.
Standing at 5-foot-8, the junior guard was considered undersized. Motivating the Los Angeles, Calif. native, this only fueled his relentless effort and positive attitude. Being on the practice team his freshman year at Duke University, Hubbard earned a walk-on spot to start his sophomore year.
“Not only is Degree my first NIL deal, the brand is also providing me with a platform to tell my story and share my walk-on experience, which is not something that is common,” said Hubbard. “A majority of NIL deals target star recruits and players, so the opportunity to be a member of Degree’s #BreakingLimits team and receive financial support toward my college career is truly a life changing experience.”
Degree’s Breaking Limits Program
The five will join 33 other student-athletes from various sports and backgrounds as part of Degree’s Breaking Limits program.
Over the past five years, the brand has committed over $5 million to breaking barriers that stand in the way of staying healthy and active as part of the program – whether due to race, sexual orientation, ability level, gender or age.
These student athletes aid in supporting the brand’s long-term goal to help millions of young people transform their lives through the power of movement by 2030.
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