BJNC Jersey Trade Turns Setters Into Salesmen
RENO, Nev. (June 30, 2013) – Chairs line the walls at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev., for the USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships (BJNC). Boys stake out their territory early, fanning out their collection of jerseys on the ground in front of them, raising appraising eyebrows at passersby.
| Athletes peruse the jersey selection at the 2013 USA Volleyball Boys'
Junior National Championships.
The annual BJNC jersey trade is upon us, and don’t think for a moment that this is an unorganized venture. The athletes have a clear idea of what they’re interested in taking home.
“I’m looking for some nice sleevelesses,” Hank Sholl of D1 Chicago 18 George said. “I like California gear, or some west coast, Hawaii stuff, Puerto Rico. Or just cool colors. Bright, vibrant colors.”
Though it may sound simple, Matt Porter of NVC B18 Quiksilver says that there are many factors that go into determining what makes an item valuable.
“How good the team is is one of them, because nobody wants a team that isn’t very good,” Porter said. “The brand, too.”
Clearly, not all jerseys are created equal. Gear from some of the more well-established clubs can often be used as leverage in a trade.
“A lot of the more well-known clubs like Bay to Bay, Balboa Bay, those are higher value,” Sholl said. “So sometimes you offer those and get better stuff in return.”
Though this is his first and final trip to the BJNC, Sholl has caught on quickly. He began the tournament with all gear from his own club, and on his final day he sat surrounded by a collection including multiple jerseys from Canadian teams and a Kobe Bryant jersey.
“I started with a Quiksilver warm-up, I traded for a Bay to Bay sleeveless, and then a guy walked up to me and offered me a Kobe Bryant jersey,” Sholl said. “And I said that’s a deal!”
Also among Sholl’s new collection is a high school jersey belonging to NBA player Derrick Rose. Rose is Sholl’s favorite basketball player, and Sholl had turned down all trade offers for the jersey so far. However, he said he’d consider giving it up under the right circumstances.
“Maybe [for a] San Juan jersey or two,” he said thoughtfully.
Ever the budding businessman, Sholl knows how to read his customers to make trades that work in his benefit.
“It all depends on the buyer or the person that’s coming up to trade,” he said. “If their eyes light up at something, you can tell that’s really valuable to them. So you could ask for more stuff or cooler gear for yourself.
“I think I’ve been making some good trades so far,” he said with a grin. “It’s fun, it’s really cool.”
However, jerseys aren’t the only merchandise available for trading. Sholl’s stand included a pair of multicolored sneakers, and many others displayed shoes and board shorts. But drawing everyone’s eye was a framed poster of Michael Jackson next to the stand Porter shared with teammate Jack Ovington.
Ovington, competing at his fourth and final BJNC, is now looking for gear he can wear outside of volleyball and hopes that the King of Pop can help him.
“I won that last night at the kid casino at our hotel,” Ovington said. “I just decided to bring that along and see what I can get.”
“It brings people over to our stand!” Porter added with a laugh.
And that, after all, is the name of the game.
For match schedules and results, visit https://advancedeventsystems.com/EventResults/CourtSchedule.aspx?e=PTAwMDAwMDM1ODg90.
2013 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships
12 Club: Gold – Warriors VC 12 (Puerto Rico); Silver – Vaqueros 12-1 (Puerto Rico); Bronze – Bayou Boys 12 U (Bayou), HVA 121 Young Guns (Lone Star)
13 Club: July 2-4
14 Open: June 28-July 1
14 Club: June 28-July 1
15 Open: June 29-July 2
15 Club: June 29-July 2
16 Open: June 30-July 3
16 Club: June 30-July 3
17 Open: July 1-July 4
17 Club: July 1-4
18 Open: Gold – 949 18 Black (Southern California); Silver – Balboa Bay 18 Hurley (Southern California); Bronze – Coast 18 Quiksilver (Southern California), MB Surf Nike 18s (Southern California)
18 Club: Gold – Guaynabo City Mets 18U (Puerto Rico); Silver – TVA 18U (Puerto Rico); Bronze – AZ Fear 18 White (Arizona), APV 18 Black (Arizona)