CGC Cards Grades Early Autographed Card of NBA Star Rookie Victor Wembanyama a Pristine 10

Posted on 9/6/2023

The rare hand-signed card is one of the earliest examples from the top NBA Draft pick after he shook up the US sports scene.

CGC Cards™ recently had the honor of certifying a rare hand-signed rookie card of the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, as it received CGC Cards' coveted Pristine 10 grade. The superb Victor Wembayama rookie card is a high-grade example of one of the earliest collectibles of the Frenchman's basketball career. And as one of the most exciting young prospects to enter the NBA in years, this could be a historic card in the future.

The example of the 2022-23 Bowman University Chrome Autographs #101 Victor Wembanyama is graded CGC Pristine 10, with an autograph graded CGC 10. These top-of-the-scale grades add to the rarity of it being the lone card of its kind in the CGC Cards Population Report.

2022-23 Bowman University Chrome Autographs #101 Victor Wembanyama graded CGC Pristine 10, with an autograph graded CGC 10
Click images to enlarge.

For the 2023 series, the Bowman University Chrome Basketball set received an upgrade to an all-chromium release. The popular series features many of the top men's and women's basketball stars in the country, with the new set being officially licensed by the NCAA. The series also features other top prospects, including stars in the G-League or who play international basketball, such as Wembanyama, who played for the Metropolitans 92 of France before being drafted No. 1 overall in June by the San Antonio Spurs.

The 2022-23 Bowman University Chrome Autographs #101 is a special card since it is Wembanyama's first-ever signed card of any series. In fact, Topps had the star teenager inscribe a one-of-one parallel with his signature and the words "1st Card I EVER Signed" for the initial print runs that were included in the Bowman University Inception set, which was released a couple weeks earlier than the wider Chrome series. The card quickly went viral online, with a photo of Wembanyama proudly holding his first signed card in hand.

While the CGC Pristine 10 isn't the one-of-one example with the "1st Ever" inscription, the card does feature the same player image and design, along with one of the first signatures Wembanyama wrote on a sports collectible since bursting onto the American sports scene.

The 7'4" center/power forward has been heralded as a generational talent, with rare abilities for a player his size. At only 19 years old, no player has garnered as much hype before his NBA debut since LeBron James when he was drafted No. 1 overall out of high school in 2003 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, Wembanyama will join a long list of storied big men in San Antonio. He takes the torch from Hall of Famers David Robinson and Tim Duncan, as he looks to lead the Spurs back to their winning ways after a handful of disappointing seasons.

Now tied as the tallest active player in the NBA, Wembanyama began his professional career in France at only 15 years old in 2019. After moving around to different teams, the teenager signed with the Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro A league in the summer of 2022. In October, his team played two exhibition games in America against G-League opponents, with more than 200 scouts attending his games. Wembanyama dominated in back-to-back games, putting him on the radar of every NBA team in the league, if he wasn't already.

He'd go on to have a stellar season in France, becoming the youngest player to win the LNB Pro A MVP Award. In April, Wembanyama declared for the NBA Draft, knowing he would likely be the first overall pick. That proved accurate as San Antonio selected him on June 22. He has the weight of hype and expectation on his shoulders, but the talent is clearly there to live up to it.

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