05 March 2014 - Today BC Khimki visited Valencia Basket in the first last-16 game of the Eurocup. As mentioned before the anticipation was high because the Russian team has been tipped as a potential candidate for the trophy and arrived here with a 31-game winning streak. From tip-off on, though, Valencia Basket was ahead, finishing the first quarter 27-12. Although the lead went up and down throughout the game we finally took the win 75-59. A 16-point lead that in theory should give a bit of breathing space and flexibility for the return game in Moscow next week.
At the last minute it turned out that I couldn't attend the game, but fortunately I had already intercepted the team yesterday upon their arrival in the airport. I received autos on custom cards from Mickaël Gelabale (2), Sergei Monia and James Augustine.
03 March 2014 - Yesterday we played against Laboral Kutxa - formerly know as Baskonia. The game was of particular interest because it was the Spanish league debut for Lamar Odom, who signed with the Vitoria team just over a week ago. Despite the high expectations his physical deficiency was evident and he ended up with 2 pts (1/5 FG%), 2 reb, 1 blk and 1 ast in almost 17 minutes. The game itself was not of a high standard either but we managed to maintain our lead through the second half to win it 67-55.
After the game a big crowd waited outside to catch a glimpse of Odom and it was of little surprise that he was escorted by team assistants straight into the bus. I did get a chance pick up autos of Andrés Nocioni and of former Spain Olympic Team coach Sergio Scariolo on custom cards.
19 February 2014 - Following last week's victory in Oostende, Belgium, Valencia Basket had already qualified for the Eurocup Last 16. Yesterday's game against UNICS Kazan still was an important one for seeding purposes, as winning by 7 points would make us leader in our current group, thus avoiding the very strong BC Khimki in the next round. After trailing by almost 20 points in the first quarter we made a slow but steady comeback and Valencia was even up by 4 points in the last quarter. We couldn't extend that lead however and we ended up losing the game 73 -76.
After the game I received autos on both custom and regular cards from Andrew Goudelock and Luke Harangody and newly signed Valencia center Ksystof Lavrinovic signed his card from the Valencia Basket set. Finally Belgian basketball legend Tomas van den Spiegel, who visited our Belgian guard Sam van Rossom, signed a regular card as well.
03 February 2014 - Yesterday Valencia Basket received FC Barcelona in what was a crucial game for consolidating our second position in the league's ranking. To add to the difficulty of this face off, besides the existing three injured players Justin Doellman was a last-minute in-active due to a minor injury.
Barcelona started off very strong and was ahead 16 points in the second quarter. In the third quarter, however, Valencia made an epic comeback with a 33-16 split. The fourth quarter was an equal battle and the game could have gone either way. The 'Fonteta' arena turned into hell's kitchen with the fans supporting the team more than ever, which may have given that little extra to help Valencia take the win 95-93.
After the game I was able to pick up autographs from Mario Hezonja, Joey Dorsey and Juan Carlos Navarro.
25 January 2014 - Today FIATC Joventut Badalona visited Valencia Basket. Despite raking only tenth (we are second), they lead pretty much throughout the entire game up until the fourth quarter when Valencia pulled an amazing 33-11 to win the game 85-69.
I couldn't attend the game, but fortunately I had the opportunity of seeing the players arrive before the game. Devoe Joseph signed a custom card. So did John Shurna and he signed a regular card as well - his Prizm rookie. Justin Doellman signed his custom card for the Valencia set.
24 January 2014 - I have added a new page called 'Featured' on which I will occasionally highlight a card with a more elaborated story. I have done posts like this in the past already, but those I placed directly on the pages of the corresponding collection, which made it a bit messy.
With those existing posts now migrated to the Features page, I have also taken the opportunity to clean up the Regular Cards and Custom Cards pages. All existing cards in those collections have been placed in reverse chronological order and any future cards added to these pages will now be placed on top so that it will be easier to see the new additions.
22 January 2014 - Following last week's loss in Russia, Valencia Basket played their third game in the Eurocup Last32 yesterday, receiving the Polish team Stelmet Zielona Gora at home. It meant the return to 'La Fonteta' of Adam Hrycaniuk who played part of last season with Valencia and who is now part of the Polish team.
Valencia dominated the game throughout and won the game 90-53.
After the game I received an autograph of Christian Eyenga (former Cavaliers, Lakers and Magic) on a custom card and two autographs of Craig Brackins (former Sixers) on regular cards.
12 January 2014 - Yesterday Valencia Basket beat the visiting Iberostar Tenerife 92-67. This victory marked a 13-2 record - an achievement the team has made never before. Besides this, the win also meant Valencia will be group leader in the King's Cup, to be held the first week of February in Málaga.
After the game I picked up autographs on custom cards from Luke Sikma (son of NBA legend Jack Sikma) and Juanma Iturriaga, Spanish legend and current color commentator for Spanish TV (he is depicted on Wikipedia as an example of color commentator!). For the Valencia Basket set I received autographs from Lubos Barton, Serhiy Lishchuk and Pau Ribas.
09 January 2014 - Yesterday BC Oostende visited Valencia Basket in the first game of the Last32 round in the Eurocup. Considering 'basket average' will be a factor in determining classifiers, opponents and home court advantage winning this game was very important, preferably with a good lead. Although we didn't play very well we won the game by 27 points.
After the game I received autographs on custom cards from Ryan Thompson and Gregory Echenique.
30 December 2013
With my message I won Lubos Barton's warm-up jersey and I got to pick it up yesterday. What a great way to close off 2013!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
27 December 2013 - Today Estudiantes Madrid played at Valencia and we beat them fairly easily. Their most notable player Lucas 'Bebe' Nogueira didn't play as he is currently in the US sorting out an injury. I did get a moment to catch up with Kyle Kuric and get his signature on a custom card that captures a very exciting moment. Check out the video for the full play!
23 December 2013 - Yesterday the unbeaten (10-0) Real Madrid visited runner-up Valencia Basket (9-1) in quite possibly the game of the season. Valencia led throughout the game with up to so much as 15 points of a lead. However poor (rigged?) officiating and Rudy Fernandez's flopping turned the game around and Madrid eventually took the game by 7 points.
The day before yesterday when the team arrived in Valencia a was able to get autographs from Sergio Llull and Felipe Reyes. Yesterday after the game I received further autos from Sergio Rodríguez, Marcus Slaughter, Tremmell Darden, Dontaye Draper and Nikola Mirotic.
17 December 2013 - Valencia Basket received ASVEL Villeurbanne from Lyon, France in a decisive game to determine which of the two teams would go on to the Eurocup Last 32. Despite the away loss a few weeks back, Valencia dominated throughout the game with a comfortable 30+ lead and finally won 97-70.
After the game I was able to pick up autographs from our local players Sam van Rossom and Oliver Lafayette for the Valencia Basket set. I got further autographs on custom cards from Travis Leslie and Chris Wright.
15 December 2013 - Yesterday Valencia received the regional UCAM Murcia team. It was the 'homecoming' game of Rodrigo San Miguel who played two seasons in Valencia but moved on to Murcia this summer.
Although our team had a comfortable lead at some stage of 22 points, it became a close game towards the end. Scott Wood even nailed a threepointer with 12 seconds left on the clock to bring the Murcia team back to only 1 point difference. We did manage to maintain the lead though and won by two points.
After the game I picked up autographs on custom cards from Dwayne Davis, Scott Wood and Ehimen Orukpe. For the 2013-14 Valencia Basket set I received autographs from Vladimir Lucic, Pablo Aguilar and Juanjo Triguero and Rafa Martínez signed a retro card.
12 December 2013 - Following the earlier release of preview pictures of the new Valencia Basket cards I decided to go a step further and also make a little promo video showcasing the main cards of the set. Released via Facebook, Twitter and this website, let's try and make this viral!
4 December 2013 - It has taken me a little while but finally the 2013-14 Valencia Basket set is ready. This time I decided to use portrait photos, which for this design work really well. It also left a lot of space at the bottom for a dedicated and easily identifiable area for the signature. I hope you like them too!
20 November 2013 - Yesterday's was expected to be a tough game - in fact, the coach had called for all ticket holders to come and support the team as much as possible. It turned out that things went much more smoothly than expected as we beat the French team 98-52, doubling their score almost throughout the entire game.
After the game I picked up autographs from Romain Sato, Oleksiy Pecherov, Jawad Williams, Daniel Ewing and Elton Brown. Brown was very excited to see the custom card that I had made depicting him in the uniform of the now defunct Colorado 14ers.
11 November 2013 - We received the CAI Zaragoza team yesterday in Valencia. It was a tight game up to halftime but then Justin Doellman started heating up and we finally won with over 20 points difference. After the game I had the opportunity to have a chat with my fellow countryman Henk Norel and I also picked up these autos from Joseph Jones and Michael Roll.
07 November 2013 - Yesterday we played Eurocup basketball, receiving Italian team Pallacanestro Varese at home. After trailing during the first few minutes the Valencia team picked up the pace and then lead throughout. We won the game 98-64.
After the game I picked up autos from Frank Hassell (Atlanta Hawks Summer Camp) and Aubrey Coleman (former Austin Toros).
02 November 2013 - Tonight Valencia Basket set a milestone victory by winning 108-57 against Valladolid. It was the franchise's highest-ever scoring difference in the Spanish ACB League.
I received an autograph from former Kansas State player Akeem Wright, who currently plays with Valladolid. I had also hoped to catch former Grizzlies and Raptors player Will Solomon too who was rumored to be close to signing with the team, but it appears that that finally didn't go through.
25 October 2013 - Via Twitter the Fuenlabrada basketball team recently called for people to send photos of their players. I decided to send through the card I had made of James Feldeine and I promptly received a message that it would be included in the next edition of the team's magazine Fuenlaoé. Yesterday I got a copy of it in the mail and was extremely proud to see my card published. Thank you Fuenlabrada!
06 October 2013 - After a long, long wait finally the new season has kicked off and today was the team presentation game - the last of the preseason games. Valencia Basket received the Cajasol team from Seville who we beat quite easily.
I was able to get 6 custom cards signed inclduing Oliver Lafayette (Celtics), Tomas Satoransky (Wizards), Latavious Williams (Tulsa 66ers), Scott Bamforth (Weber State) and a retro card of Bojan Dubljevic. Particularly interesting was meeting Johnny Rogers who played with the Cavaliers and Kings in the mid-80s before playing in Europe. He has been living in a nearby town for a long time now where he coaches a local team.
28 August 2013 - This week is marked by most Spanish League teams kicking off their preseason preparations and I thought it would be a good moment to give a sneakpeak of the custom card set I have prepared so far.
Below are the 50 cards I prepared for (mostly) ACB players, while I am still awaiting the latest domestic transactions as well as next month's draw for players from Eurocup teams that will play against Valencia Basket.
The set is made up of 17 NBA cards, 17 NCAA cards, 8 ACB cards and 3 of other leagues while five further cards feature current NBA players.
The cards maintain the most recent design of last year's custom cards. More to come soon, so stay tuned!
20 June 2013 - Yesterday I went to get my next season's pass for Valencia Basket and I coincided with Florent Pietrus holding a press conference following the team's announcement earlier in the morning of his contract not being extended.
One of the team's most emblemetic players, he was the first winner of the franchise's 'Trofeo del Esfuerzo', an audience vote-based acknowledgement rewarding a player's unselfishness and hard work throughout the season.
Besides being a great player, most of whose efforts don't appear in the box score, he is also a tremendously friendly person and was very much loved by the people.
We had a short chat and he signed a retro insert I had prepared for the new Valencia Custom set 2013-14. All the best Flo!
29 May 2013 - Yesterday the Valencia team lost Game 3 in a best-of-three quarter finals. We had won the first game at home with a devastating 80-42, lost the road game 122-120 in 3OT and yesterday it simply didn't happen.
Time therefore to take stock of what has been the 'result' in in-person autos. I received a total of 21 autos on regular cards, one signed ticket and 58 autos on custom cards - 24 of which for the Valencia custom set. This makes a grand total of 70 signatures, not including a few autographs on the warm-up jersey or what I received through the mail.
Although I am of course happy with the quantity, what I really take pride in is the positive feedback I received from players on seeing the custom cards that I did. Particularly those cards depicting the player in their college days got a good response.
In the off-season it will most likely be a bit more quiet here but I hope to be back soon with new updates.
4 May 2013 - Today marked the 25th anniversary of Valencia Basket ascending to the first division league, which was celebrated with our team wearing jerseys with the same design as back then and by honouring the players of that legendary team.
We won our game against Valladolid and after the game I picked up a few autographs for the Valencia Custom set, as well as on a custom card for Ryan Humphrey and a 2004-05 Xavier game schedule that features Justin Doellman.
Also attending the game was local hero Victor Claver, who currently plays with the Portland Trail Blazers. He came back to town a few days ago for the summer after not qualifying for the NBA Playoffs. We chatted a little while about how things had gone for him in the NBA this season and he kindly signed two custom cards as well.
Lastly a fellow fan had gone to see our former player Nik Caner-Medley, who currently plays with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. As a favor she very kindly had two of my cards signed.
30 April 2013 - By a local basketball fan I was requested to make a team set of custom cards for Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv. It proved to be quite a challenging project, firstly because of the size of set - 14 cards in the set plus a few others not included in the Maccabi set - but also because of the lack of decent photo material.
In the end however the set came out very well and I may even use the design as a template for future projects.
Read more on the newly created 'Contracted work'-page.
21 April 2013 - Valencia Basket played against Lagun Aro, the team from San Sebastian that is going through a pretty rough patch as they currently rank penultimate. In first half our team was better but we didn't quite make a gap, it was only in the second half that the team sharpened up and eventually took the W by 28 points.
Before the game there was a signing session by team legends Victor Luengo and Nacho Rodilla in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the team winning the European ULEB cup. They both signed custom cards for the Valencia set.
After the game I received autos on custom cards from Ekene Ibekwe, Raulzinho Neto and Adam Hrycaniuk and Lagun Aro coach Sito Alonso signed a regular card.
Most notably I also met Qyntel Woods - former Knicks, Trailblazers - whom I had made three different custom cards for. I had found three great photos and couldn't decide which photo to pick for a card. In the end I decided to just make all three and Woods was tremendously kind and signed all three.
8 April 2013 - Yesterday Valencia Basket received Real Madrid; the current leader who have gone 25-2 so far. However, despite having our main centers on the injury list and our team's leading scorer looking at three fouls halfway first quarter, Valencia pinned down Madrid with a solid defense backed up with 12/25 in three pointers. We had a lead of up to 20 points in third but ended up winning it 88-79.
Before the game injured PF Florent Piétrus (brother of Michael) signed a custom card for the Valencia set in a signing-and-picture session. After the game I managed to get a few more autographs, including from Rudy Fernandez and the American players with Madrid. Especially Marcus Slaughter, who is the most cheerful guy you can imagine, was really excited seeing the card I made depicting him in San Diego State uniform.
23 March 2013 - Today Valencia Basket received Herbalife Gran Canaria at home - a direct confrontation as we were tied in classification. We started off quite bad but managed to turn around the game by the end of the first quarter and maintained the lead from there onwards.
It was a 'home-coming' game for Brad Newley who played in Valencia half season last year and to the surprise of many wasn't renewed for this season. After the game he signed my Valencia Custom Card. Xavi Rey signed a regular custom card and Jon Scheyer signed a regular Topps McDonald's card.
I also had a fun chat with Slovenian player and Raptors pick Uros Slokar, who signed the card shown on the right. He told me that this particular a card was a mess-up by Upper Deck as the player depicted is not him but some Canadian comedian (!!). They sent him a letter of apology and everything, lol.
21 March 2013 - Yesterday Valencia Basket played their home game against Russian team Lokomotiv Kuban in the Eurocup semifinals. We knew it was going to be a tough game but hadn't anticipated on being 19 points behind (3rd quarter). Fortunately we managed to shorten the distance to 10 points and we still have a chance to make it to the finals.
After the game I had an opportunity to catch Derrick Brown and Richard Hendrix and have them sign two rookie cards. Through COMC I had also ordered regular cards for Nick Calathes and Jimmy Baron Jr., but unfortunately they didn't arrive in time, so instead I made two custom cards for them, which they signed.
06 March 2013 - Although I had promised myself to stick to only two sets of custom cards for the time being, I had the opportunity of designing and making these cards. They are gold foil on one side and silver on the back and the card's design is black silhouettes of three players (Dubljevic, Doellman and Faverani) printed on transparent sticker. I slightly cut the corners at a 90º angle to give it a hint of a plain gold ingot.
Today, Valencia Basket played against Russian team Unics Kazan in the Quarterfinals of the Eurocup and I had the opportunity of Justin Doellman and Bojan Dubljevic signing their cards.
Terrell Lyday, who bombed 6 of 6 three-pointers on us, signed a blank card that I may give a post-signing design.
26 January 2013 - Today Valencia Basket played a home game against UCAM Murcia. Our team miraculously tied the game with 0.7 seconds on the clock, but Murcia amazingly managed to get a tip-in from the following inbound pass and take the victory.
Better luck I had getting signatures after the game. Justin Doellman signed my jersey and Thomas Kelati signed my custom Valencia card.
I also brought the newly designed custom cards I announced a few days ago for Murcia players Joe Ragland (Wichita State), Marcus Lewis (Oral Roberts) and David Barlow (Australia).
It was funny how all three of them were happily surprised to see these cards - especially Ragland who called me back to show his card to an agent he was chatting with and asked where I got the cards from and how I made them.
All autos uploaded on their respective pages.
21 January 2013 - I have started preparing a new set of custom cards aimed particularly at obtaining in-person autographs from members of teams playing against my home team that don't have regular cards. The key principle behind this set was to have a one-fits-all template that would allow for a quick turn-around in creating a new card, while still achieving a visually attractive card and an overall consistent set.
Although many of these players play for European teams I try to make the cards with NBA or college photos for greater visual value. So far I have made 16 cards, including the below of Marcus Slaughter, Lamont Hamilton, Jakim Donaldson and Alhaji Mohammed.
I hope to be able to upload signed versions soon.
6 January 2013 - Valencia played against Bilbao Basket today. We started the game well with a 12 point lead at the end of the first quarter, but ended up giving it away slowly but surely. With 1.4 seconds on the clock they tied the game with a crazy three-pointer to send it into overtime. In OT we managed to take the lead and finally took the game by three points.
Our injured guard Pau Ribas did a signing session before the game and he signed my custom card.
After the game Larry Abia and Mickaël Gelabale signed my custom card from the Valencia Custom set and Raül Lopez signed a regular game-used card. I also had Bojan Dubljevic sign my jersey (for the Jersey project) and Lamont Hamilton signed a blank decoy card.
Another great few additions to my collection on a very memorable game night!
19 November 2012 - Today I sold the duplicate Rik Smits autograph custom booklet. While I still hold my own copy, this second copy will go to a buyer in the US. This marks the first time I sell one of my custom cards and I would like to thank the buyer for his interest in my work.
Full proceeds of the sale have been donated to the Indiana-based Riley Children's Hospital.
25 November 2012 - Valencia played against Barcelona today. It was going to be a tough game as we had some injuries and their team is traditionally very strong. We started off 2-14 but ended up winning by three points despite Juan Carlos Navarro having two opportunities to tie it in the last five seconds. The arena was mayhem.
Our injured center Vitor Faverani did a signing session before the game. He signed a custom card and my jersey as well.
After the game Chris Quinn signed my custom card from the Valencia Custom set and Juan Carlos Navarro, Pete Mickael, Nathan Jawai and Joe Ingles signed regular cards.
It was pretty amazing getting seven autos from six players on a single night with a character win to go with it.
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05/03/2014 - added Mickaël Gelabale, James Augustine and Sergei Monia to Custom Cards
03/03/2014 - added Andrés Nocioni and Sergio Scariolo to Custom Cards
03/02/2014 - added Joey Dorsey, Mario Hezonja and Juan Carlos Navarro to Custom Cards
01/02/2014- added Justin Knox to Custom Cards
26/01/2014 - added two videos of the Valencia Basket sets to the Videos page.
24/01/2014 - added the Featured page.
09/01/2014 - added Ryan Thompson and Gregory Echenique to Custom Cards.
27/12/2013 - added Kyle Kuric to Custom Cards
20/11/2013 - added Elton Brown, Dan Ewing, Oleksiy Pecherov, Romain Sato and Jawad Williams to Custom Cards.
I currently have in-person and through-the-mail autos of Larry Abia, Pablo Aguilar, Sito Alonso, James Augustine, Scott Bamforth, Jimmy Baron Jr., Lubos Barton, Craig Brackins, Derrick Brown, Elton Brown, William Buford, Nick Calathes, Nik Caner-Medley, Demond 'Tweety' Carter, Victor Claver, Nando De Colo, Tremmell Darden, Taquan Dean, Troy DeVries, Justin Doellman, Jakim Donaldson, Joey Dorsey, Dontaye Draper, Bojan Dubljevic, Gregory Echenique, Mike Efevberha, Chuck Eidson, Daniel Ewing, Christian Eyenga, Vitor Faverani, Rudy Fernandez, Tony Gaffney, Andrew Goudelock, Lamont Hamilton, Geert Hammink, Will Hanley, Luke Harangody, Richard Hendrix, Mario Hezonja, Adam Hrycaniuk, Ryan Humphrey, Ekene Ibekwe, Joe Ingles, Juanma Iturriaga, Cedric Jackson, Nathan Jawai, Pooh Jeter, Joseph Jones, Devoe Joseph, Thomas Kelati, Marko Keselj, Justin Knox, Toni Kukoc, Kyle Kuric, Oliver Lafayette, Joffrey Lauvergne, Ksystof Lavrinovic, Travis Leslie, Marcus Lewis, Serhiy Lishchuk, Sergio Llull, Raül Lopez, Vladimir Lucic, Victor Luengo, Terrell Lyday, Stefan Markovic, Nacho Martín, Rafa Martinez, Pete Mickeal, Nikola Mirotic, Chechu Mulero, Swen Nater, Juan Carlos Navarro, Raulzinho Neto, Brad Newley, Andres Nocioni, Lucas Nogueira, Henk Norel, A.J. Ogilvy, Ehimen Orukpe, Haukur Palsson, Oleksiy Pecherov, Kirk Penney, Velimir Perasovic, Florent Piétrus, Trent Plaisted, Chris Quinn, Joe Ragland, Pau Ribas, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, Jason Robinson, Nacho Rodilla, Sergio Rodriguez, Johnny Rogers, Michael Roll, Rodrigo San Miguel, Romain Sato, Tomas Satoransky, Sergio Scariolo, John Shurna, Luke Sikma, Marcus Slaughter, Rik Smits, Tomas van den Spiegel, Jon Stefansson, Ryan Thompson, Juanjo Triguero, Ime Udoka, Sam Van Rossom, Fran Vazquez, Jawad Williams, Latavious Williams, Scott Wood, Qyntel Woods, Akeem Wright and Chris Wright.
Feel free to comment on my website, my cards, sending through-the-mail autos, making custom cards and all that.
Please don't ask me for addresses of players that I got autographs from. I don't trade personal data.
I found many players by simply searching the internet. If I can do it, so can you.
Anything else, I will be all ears.