Fans And Vendors Fill Uptown This All-Star Weekend
T-shirts, buttons and shoes are just some of the basketball gear people are buying and selling in uptown Charlotte for this NBA All-Star Weekend. The game isn’t until Sunday, but many fans were there to go to the other events.
Twenty-three-year-old Winthrop University student Keri Jones and her mom were waiting in line for the NBA Experience event at the Epicentre. Jones is hoping to meet her favorite player LeBron James.
She's a huge NBA fan and said the atmosphere is exciting, "Every street is plastered with the official logo so I feel like it's dope."
Vendors were walking the streets trying to sell their goods to fans like Arkevious Armstrong. He was selling his own book of inspirational quotes for $10. And Moses Gooch from Oxford, North Carolina who was selling basketball themed t-shirts inspired by his 9-year-old cousins.
For others, this is a big inventory weekend. Ricardo Ortiz and Woldredo Melendez bought at least 40 pairs of basketball shoes. Some at the Nike and Jordan pop-up store in the Mint Museum. And they have a plan of what to do with them.
“Buy them retail and sell them double and triple," Melendez said.
He lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico where he plans to sell them for triple the retail price of about $100. His partner Ortiz plans to sell the shoes in New York for double what be bought them in Charlotte.
Friday afternoon there were also several fans in colorful gear. From team jerseys to bright Hornets gear to full costumes. Nine-year-old twins Preston and Phillip Graham were wearing matching gray and purple hornet superhero costumes, with gold capes and pink and white shutter glasses. Their mom Michelle Graham said they call themselves the Buzz City twins and are thrilled the All-Star games is here.
“They’ve been talking about it since we found out it was going to be here," she said. "And the fact we only live 10 minutes from downtown - it’s convenient."
Graham said the twins have been going to games since they were six-months-old.