A recent story in The (Portland) Oregonian about footwear companies' connections with grassroots basketball programs includes details about the family of Duke freshman forward Marvin Bagley III and its relationship with Nike.
According to the story, Bagley's father was given a head coaching job at Nike-sponsored Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix before his son left there to play in the Nike's Elite Basketball League. In 2015 Bagley III agreed to play for Arizona Power but soon left to play for Phoenix Phamily, a team started by his father and soon sponsored by Nike.
The Bagleys eventually left Arizona for Southern California, where Bagley III joined the Nike-sponsored Sierra Canyon basketball team.
When asked by The News & Observer, Duke basketball officials declined to comment on The Oregonian story.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Bagley III left high school a year early to attend Duke, and was the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2017 after being cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center. It is not clear whether the NCAA was aware of the issues outlined in the Oregonian report.
In a Sept. 8 press release, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "From the outset of this process, we were optimistic that it would end with the NCAA Eligibility Center certifying Marvin to compete for Duke University in 2017-18. We are thrilled for Marvin and the Bagley family. Their organization and efficiency were key to the successful conclusion of the certification process, as were the efforts of our Duke Athletics administration.”
According to The Oregonian story, the Bagleys filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April 2008, listing their combined annual income at just over $44,000. Three years later their house was sold at a trustee's sale.
In a recent tax filing, the Bagleys listed a home address in a gated subdivision in Northridge called Porter Ranch, that typically has houses sell from $750,000 to $1.5 million and rents from $2,500 to $7,500 per month, according to an area real estate agent, the story states.
Bagley Jr. told Sports Illustrated in 2016 that the family was relying on the Nike sponsorship and an athletic apparel company he started to "make ends meet."
Bagley averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds, leading the ACC in both categories, as the Blue Devils went 29-8 and advanced to the NCAA tournament's Elite Eight. He was voted ACC player and rookie of the year. He was also named to the All-ACC Academic men's basketball team in February.
Bagley declared for the NBA draft on Wednesday, according to his father.
The Bagleys have not been mentioned in the federal investigation into college basketball, which involves Adidas and Nike.