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2023-24 Bowman’s Chrome University Basketball: Headlined By Bronny James…and LeBron?

2023-24 Bowman University Chrome University Basketball spotlights the next generation of talent, so it’s only fitting for it to be headlined by… LeBron James?

Joking aside, this product will include LeBron autographs, and that’s the single biggest selling point.

In this article, we’ll break down the product details and what we know about Bowman U thus far to help you decide if this is a rip, a hold or a pass.

Here’s what we know. 

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2023-24 Bowman University Chrome Basketball product introduction

Bowman Chrome University, which is slated to release on December 15, doesn’t have a release price, but we can estimate it will be around $150.  With that, you’re getting 24 packs of 4 cards

The base set has 100 cards and the vast majority are first-year college basketball players. Only six are making a second-year Bowman appearance–largely due to the one-and-done nature of college basketball. 1st Bowman highlights for this year include Bronny James, Angel Reese and Paige Bueckers.

Fanatics/Topps is treating this product the same way Bowman functions in baseball cards: as a way to introduce “prospects” to the hobby before their professional debut. And, of course, mark their very first cards with the increasingly more iconic “Bowman 1st” logo.

Bowman Chrome University Football launched for the first time in 2021-22 and it has been met with a lukewarm reception. That box, which was pre-ordering for around $200, fell all the way to below $50.

That said, that set was unlicensed and didn’t have many noteworthy Bowman 1st cards (Notably, Paolo wasn’t included in the set.) The 2022-23 set not only includes NCAA licensing but also Victor Wembanyama’s 1st Bowman cards, which has kept the value much more buoyant over the year. 

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What to expect from 2023-24 Bowman University Chrome Basketball

Bowman Chrome University maintains the same basic makeup as the previous year’s: Each box offers 4 cards per pack and 24 packs per box.

It’s quite a few cards, but what do you get?

Much like last year, we should expect to find:

  • 2 Chrome Prospect Autographs
  • 4 Chrome Prospect Refractor Parallels
  • 1 Chrome Prospect Shimmer Refractor Parallels
  • 3+ Base Color Parallels or Image Variation

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Bronny James 1st Bowman card

2023-24 Bowman University Chrome University Basketball inserts and parallels

While we don’t have stated odds or the full list of inserts yet, we can fairly safely assume that this year’s box will be like last year’s. 

  • 1955 Bowman Football (1:6 Packs): This is a new insert pulling from the early days of Bowman and reserved for some of the bigger stars in the game.
  • Ramblin’ Man (1:8 Packs): The most elusive, athletic, hole-hitting, ball-spiking skill players ramblin’ their way around the field get their moment to shine with this all-new insert!
  • Bowman Unexpected Delights Early Risers (1:12 packs): Stems from Topps asking, “Hmm, can we have an insert name with 12 syllables?” I think this is for unexpected breakout stars. 
  • Big Kahuna (1:288 Packs): This has been the SP insert since the product’s release. It’s a tropical-themed card, for whatever reason.
  • Saturday Superstars (Limited to 200): This is the new toughest pull. It also comes with a red refractor and 1/1 superfractor.

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DJ Wagner Bowman Chrome U

This product has tons of color, too. Per Topps, the base parallels include:

  • Refractor – 1:6 Packs
  • X-Fractor – 1:12 packs
  • Shimmer Refractor – 1 per Hobby Box – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Stealth Refractor – 1 per Breaker Box – Breaker Exclusive!
  • Purple Refractor Parallel – #’d to 399
  • Purple Mini-Diamonds Refractor Parallel – #’d to 399
  • Aqua Refractor Parallel – #’d to 299
  • Blue Refractor Parallel – #’d to 199
  • Fuchsia Mini-Diamonds Refractor Parallel – #’d to 150
  • Green Refractor – #’d to 99
  • Green Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 99 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Yellow Refractor Parallel – #’d to 75
  • Gold Refractor Parallel – #’d to 50
  • Gold Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 50 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Orange Stealth Refractor – #’d to 25 – Breaker Exclusive!
  • Orange Refractor Parallel – #’d to 25
  • Orange Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 25 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Red Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 5 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Red Refractor Parallel – #’d to 5
  • Black Shimmer Refractor – #’d 1-of-1 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • SuperFractor Parallel – #’d 1-of-1

The Autograph Parallels look like this:

  • Chrome Prospect Autograph Parallels
  • Refractor Parallel – #’d to 499
  • Fuschia Mini Diamond Parallel – #’d to 150
  • Green Refractor Parallel – #’d to 99
  • Yellow Refractor Parallel – #’d to 75
  • Gold Refractor Parallel – #’d to 50
  • Gold Lava Refractor Parallel – #’d to 50 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Orange Refractor Parallel – #’d to 25 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Orange Shimmer Parallel – #’d to 25 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Red Refractor Parallel – #’d to 5
  • Red Shimmer Parallel – #’d to 5
  • SuperFractor Parallel – #’d 1-of-1

The most noteworthy autograph set, however, will be the Footsteps Dual autographs. There’s only one card in this “set” — the LeBron/Bronny James dual autograph.

This is LeBron’s first non-Upper Deck autograph he’s ever signed, but he made an exception for the “James Gang.” (Or, perhaps, this might be the first of many Fanatics autographs in his career).

Investing in 2023-24 Bowman University Chrome Basketball

Assuming a $150 release price, should you invest in these boxes?

To project ahead, let’s look back to the past. 

Investing in sealed product of Bowman University Chrome Basketball

Here’s what we’re seeing on hobby boxes from previous years (as of 9/19/23).

ReleaseValue
2023-24$250
2022-23$225
2021-22$50

Talk about two very different results, right? And both of these boxes launched for about the same release day price, at that.

2021-22 didn’t have any NCAA licensing, nor does it have many top rookies; 2022-23 has a generational prospect’s first autograph. Very different products, very different prices.

So where will 2023-24 fall? My best guess is that it will fall somewhere in the middle. The hype around the LeBron/Bronny card can’t be ignored, but once the 1/1 is pulled, it could be a set killer. Or, at least to an extent. 

I don’t think this is an amazing investment, but it also doesn’t feel like a bad one. 

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Investing in Bowman University Chrome Basketball rookies

We recently posted a video on YouTube explaining how 1st Bowman basketball cards could see some of the biggest growth in the industry over the next decade. Watch it right here.

YouTube video

If the predictions from this video play out, it could make 2023-24 Bowman University Chrome 1st bowman cards a worthwhile investment.

Bottom line: A fun rip with minimal risk

While I wouldn’t count on hitting the LeBron/Bronny dual auto, this box is still a fun, attractive rip assuming a fair release price. 

What do you think of this product? What will it be worth in 5 years? Let us know on Twitter @card_lines and sign up for our free newsletter right here. 

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Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.

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