It was a Christmas Indiana University basketball player, Anthony Leal, his sister, Lauren, and their family will never forget.

IU Basketball's Anthony Leal Pays Off Sister's Student Loan Debt for Christmas

The idea of allowing student-athletes to earn money while pursuing the sport of their choice was a hotly-debated topic for a number of years. Those in favor of allowing it argued that it was only fair as it was their opinion the athletes were the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar industry that is college sports. Those opposed argued that athletes, specifically those on scholarship, received "payment" in the form of free tuition, along with room and board, which depending on the school they attend, can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range for a four-year degree.

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After all the debate, the NCAA approved a policy in July 2021 allowing student-athletes to make money from sports through endorsement deals with local, regional, and national companies. The policy is commonly referred to as "NIL," which stands for Name, Image, and Likeness. How a student-athlete chooses to spend that money is completely up to them, of course, but Indiana junior guard, Anthony Leal, chose to use some of his to give his sister a Christmas gift she'll remember for a long time.

In a video posted by the Leal family on Twitter on Christmas Day, Anthony's older sister, Lauren, who played basketball at DePauw University according to Bleacher Report, opened a card from her little brother that read,

You're a spark of goodness that brightens the world. You radiate kindness and bring happiness to so many people, especially me. I wanted you to know how much I look up to you and admire you. Your soul is beautiful and you are the best role model ever. There is no doubt that I made it to where I am today because of you. Someone like you deserves no burdens or restrictions in life. I feel like the best way to help you out with that is by paying off your student loan debt.

Check out Lauren's reaction to her brother's generous gift in the video below.

[Sources: Anthony Leal on Twitter / Bleacher Report]

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