Big Hit: Pacers Rookie Aaron Holiday Shines During 2018 NBA Player of the Day Finale

November 09, 2018

Panini America 2018 NBA POD19

If there is one word to use to describe Aiden Jones’ day as the grand prize winner of the 2018 Panini NBA Player of the Day hobby shop promotion, it would be “hit.” Jones was a hit with his friends and family he invited to a party at his home on November 4. Jones truly hit it off with Indiana Pacers rookie Aaron Holiday, the party’s special guest courtesy of Panini America. Holiday was a big hit with 150 collectors and kids club members at Indy Card Exchange who got to meet the rookie, get a photo taken with him and take home an exclusive Panini Instant NBA Player of the Day autographed card.

But for anyone who likes to collect trading cards, there’s only one type of big hit that really matters: The hit you pull from a box of Panini America NBA trading cards. And when it comes to those type of hits, Jones was an All-Star. In addition to receiving a $250 shopping spree at Indy Card Exchange and the opportunity to spend the day with Holiday, the 10-year-old collector also received a goody bag of Panini America swag and products. In his first box of 2017-18 Immaculate Basketball, the lucky youngster pulled hometown Pacer  T.J. Leaf on a card numbered to three. Then, in the second box of Immaculate, he struck gold with an autographed Charles Barkley numbered to 50.

But it was in the third special box where the hits kept coming when Jones and Holiday broke a briefcase of 2017-18 Flawless Basketball while his friends busted packs of 2018-19 NBA Hoops Basketball. Despite living in the heartland of hoops and hanging with a Pacers rookie, Jones did not hide his love for the Boston Celtics when he pulled an Al Horford autograph. But the lucky collector was not yet done. With friend and family looking on, Jones shrieked as the “big” hit was his favorite player: Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.

Jones and his friends also got to continue a Player of the Day tradition with a game of Knock Out with Holiday in the driveway followed by a game of one-on-one between the Pacers star and the star of the day.

Close to 100,000 card collectors at 400 hobby shops nationwide participated in the third edition of the Panini NBA Player of the Day promotion last spring. Although they won more than 100,000 prizes, just one collector, Jones, of Fishers, Ind., parlayed his lucky pack of Panini America NBA trading cards into the chance to spend a day with an NBA player.

After the party, Jones and his dad took a limousine ride with Aaron to visit the family’s favorite hobby shop, Indy Card Exchange in Indianapolis, where Holiday signed free autographs for 150 of the shop’s loyal customers. Each customer received an exclusive Panini Instant NBA Player of the Day Holiday card created especially for the event. And as if Jones hadn’t already gotten enough, he received a special 1/1 version of the Panini Instant card and a $250 shopping spree at the store.

“Many people collect Panini America NBA trading cards because it brings them closer to their favorite players. That surely became a reality for Aiden, his friends and family when Aaron Holiday was sitting in his living room,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America Vice President of Marketing. “We want to thank Andy and Jake of Indy Card Exchange and the 400 other hobby shops that continue to enthusiastically support the Panini NBA Player of the Day promotion.”

Jones has been collecting basketball and baseball cards for the past three years.  He loves interacting with Andy and Jake at Indy Card Exchange and tries to make it to the shop every week. Jones earns money by selling cards on eBay, at a local monthly card show and doing jobs around the house to help his parents. He plans to work at Indy Card Exchange until he can open his own card shop one day, which is his dream. Jones also enjoys visiting other card shops when the family travels out of state to compare prices, find deals and to look at the collections they have. Last summer while in California, Jones got to be in his first live YouTube video at Hall of Fame Baseball Cards in Arcadia, Calif., while visiting family in the area. That was one of the highlights of his trip.

Check out additional highlights from Jones’ big day in the gallery that follows: