Collector says meeting Kobe was ‘time of our lives’

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

When Nick Gauder opened a pack of Panini America‘s 2010-11 Gold Standard basketball cards, he found something that could have made him very rich from a cash perspective.

It was a Golden Ticket good for a all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles and a chance to meet Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

But after meeting Kobe on Sunday — and an extended trip that allowed Gauder and his mother to meet relatives they hadn’t seen in decades — he was even more enriched.

“It was worth it, brother,” he said Wednesday, “because my mom and I had the time of our lives.”

While we’ll have more on Gauder’s trip in the next issue of Beckett Basketball soon — featuring Kobe on its cover — check out these Panini-produced videos. See Gauder meet Kobe above and see what else he left Los Angeles with below. (Need a full Kobe checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. JonathanI
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    As I alluded to in earlier comments after the winner was announced: The right guy won this prize. Congratulations again, Mr. Gauder. You taught your daughters many lessons in class they will never forget.

  2. bill johnson
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    i hear all the time about how bad card companys treat their customers, but panini really treated this guy really well. congrads again to the winner. also those were some awesome pulls.

  3. Posted April 19, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I expected the meet & greet to be in a bit more of a personal or dedicated space for this event. Still it’s awesome for this guy to have had this opportunity to meet Kobe and I think his happiness says it all. What a memorable occasion. Congratulations

  4. Posted April 19, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Just watched the second video. WOW

  5. Tom Waldron
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Its these possabilites that keeps me collecting. Great to see what one contest can have on someones life. Upper deck did one a while back that had 4 people to build yuor own Exquisite box and a Michael Jordan Camp trip. Hopefully we will see more things like this a great way to reward the customers that make the Hobby what it is. congradualtionsto the Mr Gauder and his family.

  6. Jim Falbo
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see a story like this, and that he got to meet one of his heroes and had a great experience! Exactly what the hobby is all about!

  7. Peter Angeles
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations and this is so great!

  8. Dan Anderson
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    It is nice that the prize was won by someone who would really appreciate it, building memories that will be treasured for years to come. I definitely love seeing someone’s life being positively impacted by the hobby as opposed to some snobby dealer getting this prize and making money off others. Way To Go!!!

    Posted April 21, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    great story, seems like a really good guy and family.

  10. Cincyscott
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink


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