NBA Rookie of the Year favorite LaMelo Ball is putting fate in the hands of his fans. The Charlotte Hornets point guard just became the first athlete to launch a collection of dynamic NFTs (nonfungible tokens) that unlock exclusive benefits and reflect career highlights in real time.
The collection consists of 10,000 tokens, divided among four rarity tiers, featuring 3D avatars of Ball. 500 top-tier EVOLVE tokens will not only change to reflect a Rookie of the Year win – they’ll unlock verifiably random opportunities to win personal memorabilia from Ball’s career, including his high school championship ring.
“Some of the rewards that fans might win are straight from my bedroom,” Ball told Chainlink Today.
Ball’s 3D NFT avatars were designed by the artist Law Degree. The collection was created in partnership with Ether Cards, a framework for unlocking the value of dynamic NFTs, and powered by Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks (DONs) – which connect dynamic NFTs to the real-world data they reflect. Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function) distributes rewards to NFT holders in a way that is unbiased, tamper-proof and openly auditable.
If Ball wins Rookie of the Year, he will join the ranks of NBA legends like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson – though Ball’s achievement would mark a new milestone as the first to be minted on blockchain.
Ball said his interest in NFTs was piqued when he learned about how oracles enable dynamic NFTs to reflect unique career highlights.
“When I found out that my tokens could ‘know’ my stats and awards over time and update themselves, I just knew that was something I never heard before – so I got interested! Ether Cards makes evolving NFTs and Chainlink can track my stats on the blockchain, so my team helped put both of those ideas together.”
The rarest card in the LaMelo Ball Dynamic NFT Collection, the Gold Evolve NFT #1, will go up for 24-hour auction June 17th at 7pm PST on lameloball.io. The winner will receive the autographed Puma shoes Ball wore when he became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double, as well as an autographed physical Gold Evolve card, an autographed official LaMelo Ball jersey and other ongoing rewards.
Since the launch of his collection, Ball has been making regular appearances on his Discord and going live on his Instagram to talk about NFTs with his followers. He said that, in addition to bringing him closer to his fans, the experience is inspiring him to reach new heights.
“Just like any athlete, you always try to push yourself to new limits every game. But now, knowing I’m the only player with my stats on the blockchain means I have to work double-time. My fans are watching extra close.”