A game-worn jersey from legendary NBA star Kobe Bryant’s days as a high schooler in the Philadelphia area is now up for auction.
The No. 33 jersey from Bryant’s time on the Lower Merion High School basketball team has visible wear around the neck and sleeves and was passed down by a former NBA player who worked with a former agent of Bryant’s, according to the Lelands auction house.
Bryant, who along with 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, perished in a Southern California helicopter crash last year, had deep ties to the Philadelphia region.
His father, Joe, spent four years as a player for the Philadelphia 76ers before moving to Italy and later returning.
Once back, Bryant began playing ball at Lower Merion High School, being named Pennsylvania Player of the Year in 1996 during his junior year and the Naismith High School Player of the Year during his senior year in 1996, when he led Lower Merion to a state championship.
Bryant joined the NBA right after high school, spending 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers and winning five championship rings as he cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time.
He had an impact beyond the court, as well, notably becoming a vocal advocate for women's sports and winning an Oscar in 2018 for his animated short, "Dear Basketball."
He never lost his love for the Philadelphia area, though, visiting multiple times throughout the years and celebrating the Eagles’ 2018 Super Bowl win just like any other fan.