Stanford basketball player Josue Gil-Silva available as brand ambassador
Growing up in East Salinas, Josue Gil-Silva learned many lessons, but chief among them was to always “dream big.”
So the idea of a young Latino kid who loved basketball one day suiting up for the most prestigious university in the country did not seem so daunting.
“We have a video of him and his cousin Isa (Silva) in our backyard playing ball, wearing Stanford shorts,” said Jose Gil, Josue’s father and his coach at both Alisal High School and Salinas-based Gil Basketball Academy. “They would dream together about playing for the Cardinal.”
Last year that dream came true when Stanford coach Jarod Hasse elevated Josue to the roster following two years serving as team manager, joining his cousin in wearing the cardinal and white.
What is an athlete’s NIL?
While Isa has since transferred to Long Beach State, the two cousins are poised to take full advantage of their own name, image and likeness (NIL), and to build their personal brands while they are still in college.
This comes in the wake of new legislation that forced the NCAA (a multibillion dollar entertainment industry) to give up on amateurism in the college ranks.
Conceptually, NIL means that college athletes can now earn and accept money doing commercial endorsements, appearances and social media posts, writing books, hosting camps, giving lessons and performing various other commercial activities outside of their schools, all without running afoul of NCAA rules. Now, athletes can engage in commercial activity, sign contracts, pay taxes, make financial decisions whether to save or invest, and learn important lessons about how the business world really works.
A platform for social justice
NIL is also a platform for social justice initiatives, something not lost on the Gil-Silva family during Hispanic Heritage Month. The observance takes place every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community.
A 6-foot-1 guard majoring in mechanical engineering at Stanford, Gil-Silva was named to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll for 2023. At Alisal he earned co-MVP honors in the Monterey Gabilan League as a senior, scoring 1,000 points for the school. Previous to that he played for under-15 and under-16 youth Mexican National Teams for Gil Basketball Academy, founded by his father and mother Eva Silva back in 2010.
A 6-foot-4 point guard who also played for GBA, Isa Silva was a consensus Top 100 recruit out of Jesuit High School in Sacramento (ranked as high as No. 53 by ESPN, and recruited by Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Texas and USC before choosing Stanford). Exceeding in the classroom as well, Silva is an Academic All-District selection, recognizing student-athletes who maintain a 3.50 GPA or higher while also playing a major role on their collegiate teams.
A prideful family background
What brings additional pride is the fact that both players’ family backgrounds include relatives who worked as migrant farmworkers.
Born in East Los Angeles and raised in East Salinas as the son of migrant parents, Jose Gil himself overcame the odds and earned his family’s first-ever college degree. Isa Silva’s grandfather Rafael came to the U.S. in 1952 through The Bracero Program.
Isa’s father Francisco Silva worked summers in the fields, went to Alisal High and eventually became Jose Gil’s college roommate. He’s now an attorney.
Because the academy has placed a focus beyond the lines of the court, it taught the two cousins certain principles that include service to others and education. Given that background, their charisma, their commitment to education and their athletic achievements, the two cousins make perfect NIL candidates.
Those who seek a healthy lifestyles ambassador, a face for a business or Latino brand or an endorsement for any product should reach out to Marci Bracco at BuzzPR at (831) 747-7455.