Lonzo Ball Uses NFT Auction Sale to Build a Community Basketball Court

Loveleen Kaur/Magic Eden/Lonzo Ball

Chicago Bulls guard and California native Lonzo Ball is giving back to his hometown community with an interesting web3 twist. An angel investor in Heir, an NFT platform for athletes founded by Michael Jordan’s son, Ball is all-in on NFTs and it’s for the right reasons.

In early July, Ball collaborated with Okay Bears, a popular Solana PFP project, to release a 1/1 Lonzo Ball Bear. However, it wasn’t the former UCLA star’s first rodeo with NFTs.

In collaboration with Heir, Ball previously released membership NFTs for 1.5 SOL ($51.55). Holders of Lonzo Ball’s membership NFTs were invited to co-create the 1/1 Lonzo Ball Bear by voting on different features to be featured on the artwork. 

The winner of the auction received the special NFT and a signed jersey. Ball, Heir, and OkayBears all agreed to donate the proceeds.

The auction took off in popularity and eventually reached a selling price of 444.44 SOL — equivalent to about $16,888 at the time. The sale made shockwaves in the NFT ecosystem, even netting a special shoutout from Magic Eden, Solana’s leading NFT marketplace. 

The proceeds of the sale were recently used to refurbish a community basketball court in Watts, California. Holders of Ball’s membership NFT were able to vote on the court’s artwork using Heir’s co-create feature. 

“I’m in a good position where I can give back,” Ball said in an interview with Fox. “That’s all I’m trying to do.”

As the world shifts from physical communities to digital ones, Lonzo Ball’s court unveil reminds us of the power of both. NFT holders mingled with Ball’s hometown community members all around a common shared love: basketball.

For all the chatter about utility in NFT communities, this NFT auction added substantial utility to the real-world. 

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