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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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Panini presses ahead with Elite Basketball preview

Posted Nov 12, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Panini America certainly has been touting its basketball product this season. And why not? Because of the strike season last year, Panini limited itself to five new products.

Not this year. You might say Panini is implementing a full-court press. Already in the last few weeks, I’ve written about the upcoming Prizm and Contenders basketball sets. And now, the latest product Panini is previewing is 2012-13 Elite Basketball. Panini released product information and images for Elite Basketball on Monday.

Elite Basketball is scheduled for release in early February. A hobby box will contain 20 packs, with five cards in each pack. Panini is promising three autographs and one memorabilia card in each hobby box.

Elite will be a 200-card base set that includes 100 on-card signed Rookie Inscription autograph cards. There will be four parallel sets — Aspirations, Status, Gold Status and Black Status, and four memorabilia insert sets. Those relic sets will have Prime versions, too.

Autograph inserts will include sharp rookie cards printed on clear acetate card stock. I’ve always found these cards to be nice additions to the set; there’s something about clear acetate that gives the card a crisp, cool look to it.

Passing the Torch autographs is a familiar staple for basketball fans and returns again in Elite Basketball. Elite Signatures and All-Time Greats Signatures also will offer plenty of opportunities for collectors to pull a current star or NBA legend.

The next few months are going to be fun for basketball collectors, and Elite Basketball certainly will bolster their enthusiasm.

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