Premier Hobby.sg’s First Group Case Break!

Ten people stood hunched over a table, a table filled with ten ‘gold bars’. One man wielded a pair of scissors, and another stood filming the scene before them, as suspense filled the air. The scene? Why, PremierHobby.sg’s first ever group case break, of course! PremierHobby.sg was set up by a group of basketball enthusiasts as an online forum for local basketball lovers to share their love for the game and for basketball cards in particular. Started only a couple of weeks ago, the community quickly blossomed, and to mark such a rapid growth, the administrators of the forum decided to host a group case break to celebrate basketball and to provide an opportunity for the forum members to meet up face-to-face. Here’s how it works: 30 slots exist for the 30 NBA teams, and each member would purchase one or more of the slots in order to join in the group break, and pick the number or numbers that they desire. On the day of the break, 30 ping pong balls numbered 1 to 30 were placed into a bag and drawn out one by one, thus deciding the draft order of the break, à la the NBA Draft. The participants would then call out the teams that they wish to pick, according to the draft order. As a little compensation (which turned out to be not so little in the end!), the member picking last would get all the Team USA cards. With each case of 120 cards containing at least 30 autographed cards, including one from among Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant or Bill Russell and a dual-signed autograph, as well as at least 20 memorabilia cards and one card containing a piece of real 14 Karat gold, the members were understandably excited on the day of the break, 12 May 2012. At 10 a.m., in Bishan Community Club, the break began, and there was a palpable buzz filling the air as the ping pong balls were drawn out of the bag. I got the 22nd pick and, like everyone else present, quickly racked my brains trying to figure out which team to pick. The member going first picked the Los Angeles Lakers, and the one going last was left with the New Orleans Hornets (and Team USA too!), and in between, I decided to go with my personal favourites, the Milwaukee Bucks, which was kindly traded to me by the participant with the 16th pick. And then the unveiling began! Treasure after treasure tumbled out of the gold bar-shaped boxes, beginning with a Chris Paul jersey card. The last big hit was the promised Kobe Bryant autographed card, but that was by no needs the only big hit in the case, as it yielded a dual-autograph by Jerry West and Bryant, as well as autographed cards from George Gervin, Robert Parish, Oscar Robertson, Paul Pierce, Joakim Noah, John Wall and Jalen Rose, among others. The 14 Karat gold card featured LeBron James, and the event featured a lot of smiles, euphoria with some groans and more than a few high-fives mixed in, as the participants enjoyed their haul thoroughly. Me? Well, I was the lucky guy who picked up the Oscar Robertson autographed card, making me the happiest (and perhaps only) Bucks fan in Singapore! Upon the conclusion of the group case break, every member could hardly wait to get home and log onto the forum to showcase their cards. Before long, the topic that resonated throughout the forum and its Facebook page featured one simple question: When’s the next group break? If you are interested in joining us for any future group breaks, or in collecting basketball cards, which tend to be rather hard to locate in our tiny nation, feel free to join the forum at www.premierhobby.sg! Even if you are simply interested in looking at cards, there will forum members who will gladly fulfil your request. If you would like to purchase individual cards and/or packs at a physical location, do head on down to Toy Outpost at Plaza Singapura, where a few members have rented lockers for that purpose. If you are interested in larger purchases, you can contact head honcho Ivan directly as well, at Ivan@premierhobby.sg. Basketball lovers, do join us in this exciting, blossoming new hobby today! Video not available

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