Johnny McCants, Aggies look to boost NMSU men’s and women’s basketball recruiting budgets with fundraiser
LAS CRUCES – Former New Mexico State men’s basketball player Johnny McCants will partake in a fundraising effort for the men’s and women’s basketball recruiting budgets, the Aggies have announced.
McCants, who graduates Saturday, will sign 125 coffee table posters featuring a photo of him dunking against Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 available for online purchase Monday, May 9 at NMStateBasketball.com. Fans will receive one poster for each $ 250 donation to the NM State Athletics department, and funds will be evenly split between the men’s basketball’s 6th Man Club and women’s basketball’s Fastbreak Club.
Assuming all 125 posters are signed, the event will raise $ 31,250 total for the men’s and women’s recruiting budgets.
“Being able to make some money is one thing I wanted to do so I can feed my family, but I also want to give back to the school,” McCants said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to send some money back to the programs and try to help out any way I can.”
NM State Athletics currently has $ 61,500 budgeted for men’s basketball recruiting and $ 41,000 budgeted for women’s basketball recruiting for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The event could raise up to $ 15,625 for each program, which will be spent at the direction of the men’s and women’s head coaches.
The fundraising initiative comes as basketball recruiting budgets across the country are increasing at an astonishing rate. Indiana and Illinois spent more than $ 700,000 on men’s basketball recruiting in the 2018 fiscal year, according to Stadium, and Kentucky became the first school to spend more than $ 1 million on recruiting in 2018-2019. A 2019 report by Stadium showed a correlation between a school’s recruiting budget and its recruiting class ranking.
More:New Mexico State men’s basketball recruiting tracker
Separately, Western Athletic Conference rival Grand Canyon University spent $ 4.3 million total on its men’s basketball program in 2017, according to a report by ESPN.
“I hope the programs can continue to do what they’ve done in the past and continue to represent each other well,” McCants said. “If we could all come together more, it would make everything better for everyone.”
Less than two months ago, NMSU hired new men’s and women’s basketball coaches in the same year for the second time since 2017. New men’s basketball coach Greg Heiar has received verbal commitments from 13 players for next year’s team, which includes six transfer players and three high school recruits. Heiar’s most highly-touted signee is a three-star transfer recruit from Missouri.
More:Breaking down NMSU’s 2022-2023 basketball roster: Experience dominates Heiar’s first Aggie recruiting class
Women’s basketball head coach Jody Adams-Birch has already signed four players in her first recruiting class.
Neither the men’s or women’s basketball recruiting classes have been finalized.
“I want to give my thanks to the Aggie community, all the fans, and everybody who supported me growing up through middle school, high school and during my college career,” McCants said. “You guys have been on my side and have always been stuck by my side through the ups and downs and I can’t thank you guys enough.”
Stephen Wagner is a sports reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be found on Twitter at stephenwag22 and reached at [email protected].