Former NBA player Renaldo Balkman is following the lead of other professional athletes before him, and has launched his own non-fungible token (NFT) series that includes Philippine-inspired items for sale.

Currently selling on NFT marketplaces SolSea and OpenSea, the former PBA and ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) import has released a total of 46 NFTs for sale, all of which were made by digital designer Steve Cupart.

Out of the 46 items, 11 feature the Philippines to represent his time as an import in the country, while the rest feature his home country Puerto Rico, and US cities Denver and New York, where he spent his six-year NBA career.

The most expensive Philippine-inspired item, a 1-of-1 Balkmania Philippines NFT, guarantees the buyer signed memorabilia, and a virtual meet-and-greet with Balkman himself for 0.03 Wrapped Ethereum (WETH), or roughly P5,400.

Buyers can also snag other Pinoy NFTs as a part of the regular gold collection, made up of 28 minted items costing at least 0.02 WETH (P3,600) each.

Balkman is just the latest among numerous sports personalities who have dabbled into the wild world of cryptocurrency.

The NBA itself launched the virtual marketplace concept into mainstream sports audiences’ awareness with NBA Top Shot, a trading hub for licensed NBA highlights somewhat akin to physical sports cards collection.

The Golden State Warriors followed the NBA’s lead, and also launched their own “Legacy NFT Collection,” thus becoming the first-ever professional sports team to do so.

Prices in these kinds of marketplaces can skyrocket to incredible heights, as proven with the most expensive purchase so far in Top Shot: a 23-of-79 Legendary tier LeBron James dunk from the 2020 NBA Finals Series 1 that sold for $230,023 (P11.7 million).

Although the Philippine sports scene has not yet seen the same rise in sports NFT trading, Filipinos in general have already started their foray into grinding for other NFTs through video games like Axie Infinity.

PBA veterans like Gabe Norwood, Jared Dillinger, and Joe Devance are also regularly promoting their NFT progress on Twitter in marketplaces like Mars Cats Voyage, Cyber Kongz, and Sup Ducks. –