10 Rookies to Add to Your Hoops Collection
Every year, the anticipation builds as hoops trading card collectors eagerly open various sets, hoping to strike gold with rookie cards, prospects, and 1st Bowmans featuring the Association’s next superstars. With the 2023 pro basketball season commencing, several notable names are poised to make waves, including the mythical creature himself Victor Wembanyama. This unicorn of a talent possesses the potential to one day join the elite ranks in Springfield. As Wembanyama and a talented crop of rookies embark on their journeys, the possibilities for individual accolades and championship glory await. So, without further ado, here’s our list of 10 rookies you won’t want to miss out on adding to your hoops collection.
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs
How could we start a Rookies to Collect list without the most collectable rookie of his generation, Victor Wembanyama, the top dog and most hyped prospect since LeBron James? He’s 7-foot-5 with the handle of a guard, protects the rim like prime Dikembe Mutombo, and boasts shot-making ability reminiscent of Kevin Durant. I’ll chill, but even Giannis Antetokounmpo said Wembanyama’s something we’ve never seen before. Guess what else was never before seen? His autograph on a trading card. Bowman U’s 2022-23 Victor Wembanyama marks the first.
Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets
Hoops are not a box of chocolates for Brandon Miller – you know you’ll get buckets, boards, and a W in the box score. In 2022-23, Miller became the first Alabama player to earn NABC Freshman of the Year honors and the only player in Division I in the last 30 years to score 695 points, record 305 rebounds, and make 105 three-pointers in a season. Miller’s 2022-23 Bowman U card is about as hot as his game. We’re talking fresh off the stove.
Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers
Had he chosen the university route, Henderson could’ve dominated the college ranks and spearheaded a lucky team to a March Madness run. The promising point guard instead continued his hoops education in the G League, where he routinely soared above the rim, flashing prime Derrick Rose-like athleticism and wowing with his court vision and scoring prowess for the Ignite. In an Oct. 2022 matchup vs. Victor Wembanyama’s LNB Pro A squad Mets, the floor general cooked up a highlight-filled three-course meal, finishing with 28 points, nine helpers, and five rebounds and had basketball Twitter buzzin’ like an Elon Musk tweet. The kid is like that and boasts superstar initiator potential. Look out for Henderson in the Rookie of the Year race.
Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets
When Topps released its 2021-22 Chrome Overtime Elite set, the buzz around Amen Thompson, one-half of the Thompson twins, was growing. It’s now reached a fever pitch as he’s slated to become a top-5 pick. The 6-foot-6 guard excelled in the Overtime Elite, where he routinely flashed his length, playmaking, and otherworldly bounce. Thompson’s already slated to make history as the first player from OTE to hear his name called on Draft Night. Let’s see what happens next. Cool auto, btw.
Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets
This 2022 Topps Chrome McDonald’s All-American Refractor #12 Cam Whitmore is an absolute work of art, a card that perfectly encapsulates his game’s breathtaking style and finesse. The Villanova standout brings a Rucker Park-type level of excitement to arenas across the nation. Whitmore unleashed his full arsenal of skills in just a single season with the Wildcats, unleashing thunderous dunks as he soared past defenders, showcasing a deadly turnaround jumper that left opponents helpless, and effortlessly sinking 37 triples in just 26 games. Standing at an imposing 6-foot-7 and weighing in at a solid 232 pounds, Whitmore is a physical specimen with all the tools to become a scoring sensation in the association. If you’re looking for a player with electrifying potential, Whitmore is the one to watch and invest in early.
Pro Basketball Rookies to Collect, Pt. 2
10 RCs to celebrate the new season