An investigative report by The Oregonian and OregonLive.com has found that Marvin Bagley III's family may have benefited financially from Nike's sponsorship of his club team.
Duke was not among the schools implicated in a recent FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. Several Adidas-affiliated schools were tied to company representatives allegedly paying recruits to lead them to those programs. Nike has not been charged in any investigation.
The Oregonian investigation details that Nike sponsored the Phoenix Phamily, where Marvin Bagley Jr. was the coach and team director. The Bagley family filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April 2008 with a combined annual income of about $44,000 between Bagley Jr. and his wife. After the Nike sponsorship, the Bagley family moved to Southern California and tax filings observed by the Oregonian show that they live in a gated community where rents in the area range from $2,500 to $7,500 per month. The Bagley family and Nike did not offer any details about the team sponsorship or the family's personal finances when reached by The Oregonian. Nike has said it provides some financial support to teams competing in its Elite Youth Basketball League, according to OregonLive.
Bagley went on to become a top college prospect at Sierra Canyon, a private school with an estimated tuition of about $36,250 per year. Bagley's father was hired as an assistant coach at the school.
In a 2016 Sports Illustrated story, the Bagley family said they "try to make ends meet" due to an athletic apparel business and the sponsorship agreement with Nike.
Bagley III skipped his senior year of high school to enroll early at Duke and declared for the NBA Draft after his one year there. In his one season with the Blue Devils, he averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Bagley and Duke reached the Elite Eight before losing to Kansas in overtime.
Correction: A previous version of this article identified the Phoenix Phamily as an AAU team. Marvin Bagley and the Phamily do not have AAU memberships and are are not affiliated with AAU. Bagley has not been an AAU member since 2013. The Phamily has not held AAU membership since 2011. The mistake has been corrected.