Women’s Basketball Cards Boosts Collectors

Collecting the Future of Women’s Pro Basketball

Date: May 28, 2024
Author: Ryan Salfino
Topics: basketball, Bowman U Chrome, Caitlin Clark, How To Collect, Ryan Salfino, Women's Basketball
Length: 610 Words
Reading Time: ~4 Minutes

The 2024 WNBA Draft unfolded amidst a historic moment for women’s basketball. For the first time, the Women’s NCAA title game had higher ratings than the men’s championship. The draft, featuring standout talents like Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink, and Rickea Jackson, drew a staggering 2.446 million viewers on ESPN. Clark’s jersey became the highest-selling in Fanatics’ history in all sports, reflecting immense fan anticipation for her impact on the pro game. This resurgence isn’t confined to the court; it’s extending to the collectors’ market, where the boom in interest is expected to increase demand.

topps women's basketball caitlin clark

The biggest star in college basketball and University of Iowa legend, Clark was selected as the top pick in the WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever. She’s being hailed as a “generational talent” by WNBA general managers. But her card prices bring into sharp relief the salary disparity in the men’s and women’s game. One of her cards recently sold for $78,000, equivalent to her annual salary in the WNBA. Compare that to men’s No. 1 overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama, whose card before he suited up for his first regular-season game sold for $67,000 in an auction, or about six-tenths of one percent of his $12 million annual salary.

One GM told Sabreena Merchant and Ben Pickman of The Athletic about the 6-foot-tall Clark, “I think where she’s going to be most beneficial for her team is her ability to pass and spread the ball and spread the love.” The all-time leading scorer in collegiate basketball history (men’s and women’s), Clark is a transformative player who is expected to popularize the pro game as she did women’s college basketball. Her prowess extends beyond scoring—her standout playmaking promises to elevate teammates. The AP Player of the Year and winner of the Wooden and Naismith awards averaged 31.6 points, 8.9 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game.

topps women's basketball cameron brink

The second overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks out of Stanford, Brink averaged 17.4 points and 11.9 rebounds, leading the nation in blocks with 3.7 per game. The 6-foot-4 power forward was named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. Her size, length, and mobility make her an elite defender. Los Angeles Sparks GM Raegan Pebley stated, “[she’s] One of the best players to come out of the Pac-12 in years. Her size and versatility will fit very well in our fast-paced offense, and her rim protection has the potential to make a significant impact.” Her ability to guard every position enhances the Sparks’ roster overhaul. She shot nearly 40% from beyond the arc as a college freshman. Moreover, as the godsister of pro legend Steph Curry, Brink has learned to bring poise to the court. She’s a ready-made WNBA force destined to become a star on day one.

topps women's basketball rickea jackson

The Sparks added another impact player in former Tennessee women’s basketball standout Jackson, with the fourth overall selection in the draft. At 6-foot-2, she brings a versatile skill set, as ESPN analyst and ex-Lady Vols guard Andraya Carter notes. “She can make post moves, she can make guard moves – she’s so versatile. And she has the ability to hit tough shots.” As a collegian in her final season, Jackson averaged 20.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Her accolades include two AP All-America Honorable Mentions, four WBCA All-America Honorable Mentions, and three SEC All-Tournament Team selections. Notably, she excelled nationally, leading Team USA in scoring during the 2023 AmeriCup with 14.6 points as the squad won the silver medal. Spark GM Raegan Pebley trusts Jackson’s experience and adaptability, foreseeing an immediate impact in the WNBA.

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