How NIL & Topps saved College Basketball Cards

Card Ladder
Apr 11, 20241 min read

College basketball cards had long been a placeholder, something that satisfied the average person just temporarily while putting college collectors in a you just left me state. The model had been, college cards of the recently drafted players with products such as Prizm Draft, Contenders Draft, and Chronicles Draft coming out during the post-draft offseason. Die-hard collegiate collectors couldn't collect their favorite player while in college, only after the player departed for the NBA. While NBA collectors couldn't quite just yet have their NBA cards just yet, they had to wait 2-3 months for Hoops.

2023-24 Bowman University Chrome Basketball Delight Hobby Breaker Box

This all changed last year and we have not seen the full positive effect until this season with Topps product lines of Bowman Chrome and Bowman Best University. For the first time, collectors could collect active college players cards and not have to wait until they already left the school.

Not only was this a positive for collectors, it gave basketball fans the ability to prospect for the first time in a similar fashion to baseball.

Bowman Refractor Auto

Before March Madness

During March Madness

Zach Edey



Paige Buechers



Donovan Clingan



Caitlin Clark



When we look at four of the biggest stars over March Madness, we can see the impressive market gains some of these players saw over the month long tournament. College cards are now something people look forward too and the first cards people can get of tomorrow's star. It opens an entirely opens up a new market for investors and collectors. Next year will be the biggest year to date with high school sensational Cooper Flagg arriving at Duke.