Since Kobe Bryant‘s untimely death back in January, the price of memorabilia has skyrocketed.
Any small piece of history related to the late Laker great will cost you a pretty penny, and the latest to hit the auction block, may be the most personal. Bryant fans know that the legendary baller is synonymous with Los Angeles, and his close ties to Italy, but it all really got started at Lower Merion High School located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So when his childhood home –which the family purchased after returning from Italy where his father played professional ball– in Wynnewood went up for auction in September, it immediately got attention because of its history.
“Dreams really do come true,” the property’s realtor, TJ Sokso of Compass, told TODAY Home. “Kobe moved back stateside, he had gotten to see professional athletes up close and personal, he was inspired by that,” said of the family’s move back stateside. He had this dream of becoming an NBA player.”
It was initially listed for $899,999, and the five-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home ended up selling this week for $810,000. The crib was purchased by his parents in 1991 and remained in the family’s possession until 2008. The coolest part of the home is definitely the basketball hoop in the home’s driveway because it’s the very hoop that Bryant practiced on before he became one of the most cutthroat, competitive, and greatest basketball players to ever step on the hardwood.
As a kid at Lower Merion, he even led his high school to a state championship in 1996 which led to national attention and eventually made history as the first guard drafted out of high school when he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets and traded to the Lakers. Now if that hoop and net went up for auction, we can only imagine how much it’d go for.
Here’s how NBA players honored Bryant on his 42nd birthday: