His name was truly the biggest in the 2013 NBA Draft but now he’s truly a big name. the Milwaukee Bucks do-it-all superstar is on his way to becoming one of the league’s greatest ever and Giannis Antetokounmpo basketball cards are among the hobby’s hottest. A 6-11 guard/forward/center with long arms and large hands, “The Greek Freak” has freakish size and athletic ability. Can’t spell his name? No worries, he’s one of the few athletes whose first name alone is enough for everyone to know exactly who you’re talking about. For the record, it’s pronounced YAHN-iss Ahn-teh-toe-KUHN-poe.
Class of the Class?
Basketball card collectors initially looked at the rookies in the 2013 draft class and dismissed many of them. Nerlens Noel was injured. Top overall pick Anthony Bennett never got going. Hustling Victor Oladipo did have popular cards but it was the teenager with the crazy wingspan laboring for a bad team showed flashes of what is surely to come.
Antetokounmpo is definitely a unique player. He has a 7’3″ wingspan, an ability to run the floor and multiple MVP awards likely in his future. Basketball card collectors like players who make highlight plays, and Antetokounmpo does that on both ends of the floor. Dunks and blocks, long-range shooting ability, playmaking skills all make for an entertaining player.
Collectors who locked down some of his rookie cards are already smiling. Prices for all of them have skyrocketed since that first season, when he finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting as was still essentially unknown. He reached 10,000 points just after turning 25 years old, with a ridiculously bright future.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Cards
Giannis autographed rookie cards can be found on a variety of issues from Panini America. At the high end are serial-numbered issues such as the ever-popular National Treasures jersey autograph. Numbered to just 99, it’s generally considered the most desirable Giannis rookie card and prices for high-grade examples reflect that. The Immaculate Collection autographed jersey card is also numbered to 99 and features a larger photo of Giannis along with the swatch. However, the card that pops up often among the big sales is the Immaculate Acetate version, numbered to 34 with several strong five-figure sales reported.
It’s the high-grade, low serial-numbered cards that often attract the biggest bids, sometimes regardless of brand.
Some players may seem a bit lazy when they don’t sign their full name, but with Antetokounmpo it is understandable as there usually isn’t enough room on the card. Antetokounmpo’s signature has varied over the years, with some early cards bearing only his initials. That doesn’t stop his autographed rookie cards going for increasingly higher prices. As usual, on card autographs do better in the marketplace.
As for unsigned cards, brands Prizm (and its many parallels), the low-numbered cards from high-end brands like Flawless and Immaculate are usually hot.
Collectors do have plenty of low-cost options with base cards from brands such as Hoops, Prestige, Pinnacle, Prizm, Select and Panini landing in the moderately priced category but even high-end graded versions of those often sell for $100 and up.
He’s even pictured in a European basketball jersey on his first cards, issued by Upper Deck. There are usually several dozen Giannis rookie cards available on eBay for under $25.
Search for Misspellings
When searching on eBay for basketball cards it can be worthwhile to try a few misspelled versions of a player’s name, as sometimes a card will be listed as Michel Jordan or Kevin Drant and it will evade many of the automatic searches. For Antetokounmpo, that idea might apply even more.
Complete Star in the Making
Even if you can’t pronounce his last name, Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards are worth grabbing right now. He’s still young, with plenty of time to build a Hall of Fame case.
You can see the 100 hottest Giannis cards at auction on eBay right now via the live list below.