Unseen Kobe Bryant Footage Up for Auction

By Wire Service

Before taking the NBA by storm and winning five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant was one of high school basketball’s stand-out stars.

So stand-out in fact, that Bryant skipped college altogether, entering the NBA Draft as a 17-year-old.

Now, 24 years later, over 22 hours of game and interview footage of Bryant from his time at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia are set to go on auction. The majority of the footage has never been seen in public.

The treasure trove—set to be auctioned as a single lot—also includes high school footage of other iconic former and current professional athletes including LeBron James, Tom Brady, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Phelps, Dwyane Wade, and Ryan Braun.

The auction will take place on July 23 and the lot is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $350,000.

Gianna and Kobe
Kobe Bryant is pictured with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game at Mandalay Bay Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jul 27, 2019. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

The Last Dance Effect

Profiles in History, the auction house responsible for the sale of the library, believes that the recent success of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary series about Michael Jordan and the six-time NBA champion Chicago Bulls makes the Bryant footage “even more relevant.”

The value of Jordan sports memorabilia has shot up since the documentary series aired earlier this year.

Kobe Bryant adjusts his jersey
Kobe Bryant adjusts his jersey during a game against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix, Ariz., on Feb. 19, 2012. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A ‘Dream Team’ jersey worn and signed by Jordan sold for $216,000 the same night the series premiered in April, while the online auction for a game-worn pair of Air Jordan 1s from 1985 closed at $560,000—over three times the estimated auction price.

The Bryant footage is approximately 60 percent game and 40 percent interview footage, very little of which was aired—and that was to a very limited audience.

While in high school, Bryant led the Lower Merion Aces to the school’s first state championship in 53 years, earning national recognition in the process.

The library comes from Stu Ross, a high school sports reporter who presented a weekly TV series entitled, “High School Sports Show.”

Ross and his crew recorded over 35,000 games between 1994 and 2003 for the show.

Michael Jordan
Former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan looks on as he addresses a press conference ahead of the NBA basketball match between Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on Jan. 24, 2020. (Christine Poujoulat /AFP via Getty Images)

Remembering Kobe

Profiles in History has announced that it will be donating 10 percent of the final bid price to the MambaOnThree Fund.

The fund was established to honor and support the families of the seven other victims who were also killed in the Calabasas helicopter crash that ended Bryant’s life on Jan. 26 earlier this year.

Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was one of the other people killed in the crash.

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