Ovie Soko, 28, has gone from being a basketball star competing across the world to a reality icon storming our screens in this year’s Love Island.
As well as winning the hearts of the nation and catching the eye of fellow islander India Reynolds, 28, the reality star has also turned the heads of TV producers, clothing brands and agents as potential career doors open up left, right and centre for him.
The 6'ft7” sports-turned-reality star is expected to earn thousands after leaving the villa and has already secured a slot on This Morning – cooking brunch for hosts Eamonn Holmes, 59, and Ruth Langsford, 59.
How much was Ovie earning as a basketball player?
Ovie is so popular he already had his own Wikipedia page before stepping through the Love Island villa’s doors, because he had a successful basketball career abroad.
He started his athletic career by playing basketball in a high school in Hampton Virginia. He then went to the University of Alabama at Birmingham but transferred to Duquesne University for his senior season.
After finishing college, Ovie sadly wasn’t signed to an American team and he moved to France to pursue his career, where he signed a one-year deal with French professional basketball club, Boulazac Dordogne in 2014.
He then moved to a Greek team called Aries Trikala for a season between 2015 and 2016. Finally, in 2016, Ovie signed up to UCAM Murcia in Spain where he was signed up again to play for the team in 2018.
Ovie’s exact basketball salary isn’t known, but it’s believed that he could’ve earned between £100,000 to £200,000, according to Realitytitbit, which is significantly smaller than the reported amount of £35million.
Spain is known as one of the top-paying countries in Europe for basketball – with another basketball star Sergio Llull earning around £1.5million per year. All this is before sponsorships and any other modelling deals on the side.
How much could Ovie earn after appearing on Love Island?
According to the Daily Star, islanders are paid around £250 a week while they’re in the villa. However, the big bucks start to roll in once they come out of the reality show.
After shooting to fame in his home country on Love Island earlier this summer, Ovie has already filmed a video with Vogue magazine, appeared on Soccer AM and had fashion brands fighting over him.
And, with other contestants charging anything between £1,000 and £10,000 for personal appearances, according to The Sun , Ovie could expect to be cashing in any time he makes a public appearance at a nightclub, bar or event.
What job offers has Ovie had after Love Island?
The basketball player also proved he was a dab hand in the kitchen during his villa stay and islanders were impressed when they were woken up to have breakfast prepared for them by Ovie and India.
As a result, This Morning were quick to give Ovie the chance to show off his cooking skills by whipping up brunch on the daytime show.
Confirming his stint on This Morning , Ovie said: “Message! Cooking on This Morning is going to be dope, but I’ll need to graft hard if my infamous eggs are to live up to the hype for Love Island fans Eamonn and Ruth. They’re daytime royalty after all.”
The star has also reportedly been flooded with offers from 12 agents asking to represent the reality star. He also reportedly had the likes of ASOS and BoohooMan fighting over him in a jokey spat on Twitter.
The future certainly seems bright for the 28 year old. However, during an interview on This Morning, Ovie did hint at plans to return to basketball, perhaps this time in the UK.
During the interview, Ovie was asked by Eamonn Holmes where we would see him play basketball in the next season and Ovie replied: “I’m actually in the middle of trying to negotiate all of that, I’ve been abroad for a while now but we’ll sort of see.”
Eamonn then said he thinks the UK crowds would love to see Ovie in action to which he replied: “I’ve love to be home.”
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